14-year-old under suspicion of terrorism – steiermark.ORF.at


Styrian state security officers are investigating a 14-year-old girl suspected of planning a terrorist knife attack in Graz. Police seized prepared items and propaganda materials. The chats kept the investigation rolling.

A European Security Commission tip led domestic investigators from the Styrian State Office for State Security and Combating Extremism (LSE) to the suspect’s trail. Experts preserved a chat in which the girl from Graz clearly planned a terrorist attack on Jakominiplatz.

Videos of fights and executions were found

For this purpose, the girl has already acquired an ax and a knife and prepared suitable clothes to carry out the crime. She sent pictures via Messenger to “like-minded people” abroad. The attack was intended to target “infidels”.

Based on chat history and social media activity, Styrian state security officials tracked down a 14-year-old boy from Montenegro. During a search of a home, authorities seized data carriers in addition to suspected murder weapons and clothing. During the initial investigation, investigators found various propaganda materials from the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) and several war and execution videos.

The woman did not agree

Previous investigations also provided evidence of activity in related chat forums. “A 14-year-old girl has posted that she wants to attack non-believers in the Gross area,” says police spokesman Fritz Grundnik. Data carriers will now be subjected to a more detailed forensic evaluation. During her interrogation – which was also attended by a legal guardian – the suspect did not confess. According to the police, he has so far refused to give any information about the alleged crime.

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Further investigations are underway. After obtaining the court’s permission, the Gross public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the girl and sent her to Jacomini Prison. The suspect was remanded in pre-trial detention for posing a risk of committing a crime and concealing a crime.

ÖVP and FPÖ reaction

On Saturday afternoon, the ÖVP and FPÖ commented on the case via broadcast. Governor Christopher Drexler (ÖVP) has strongly condemned Islamism and extremism and renewed calls for an Austria-wide criminal law conference against it. The Styrian Freedom Party speaks of the failure of political decision-makers.

Police say radicalization has increased

According to the police, the findings of the last few years show a clear trend towards radicalization through the digital space. Young people are particularly vulnerable to this type of extremist propaganda. Police say the extremists are often violent and ideologically inclined, particularly towards IS, but generally without direct links to terrorist organisations.

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