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Austria police raid dozens of 'Islamist-linked' targets

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the raids were aimed at "cutting off the roots of political Islam".

In this handout picture released by the Austrian interior ministry, Austrian policemen stand guard a street near a mosque in Vienna on 6 November 2020, after the Austrian government ordered its closure in the wake of the deadly jihadist shooting four days earlier. Picture: AFP

VIENNA - Austrian police on Monday launched raids on more than 60 addresses allegedly linked to radical Islamists across four regions, with orders given for 30 suspects to be questioned, prosecutors said.

The Styria region prosecutors' office said it was "carrying out investigations against more than 70 suspects and against several associations which are suspected of belonging to and supporting the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas organisations".

It stressed in a statement that "the operation has no connection to the terror attack in Vienna of November 2" but was the result of "intensive and comprehensive investigations carried out for more than a year".

Among the alleged offences are forming a terrorist association, financing of terrorism and money laundering.

The raids took place in the Styria, Carinthia, Lower Austria and Vienna regions.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the raids were aimed at "cutting off the roots of political Islam".

"We are acting against these criminals, extremist and inhuman organisations with all our strength," he said in a statement.

Last Monday's attack by a jihadist gunman in Vienna's historic city centre left four people dead.

It was the first major attack of its kind in Austria for decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

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