Aus­tri­ans ar­rest 8 sus­pected IS mem­bers

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

VI­ENNA: Aus­trian po­lice ar­rested eight sus­pected ter­ror­ists yes­ter­day in a se­ries of early morn­ing raids in the coun­try’s two largest cities that mo­bilised heav­ily armed Swat teams and hun­dreds of of­fi­cers sup­port­ing them.

A state­ment from the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice in Graz, one of the cities in­volved, said those de­tained were sus­pected of in­volve­ment with the Is­lamic State (IS) ex­trem­ist group.

Po­lice also struck si­mul­ta­ne­ously in Vi­enna, in twin op­er­a­tions that utilised 800 po­lice of­fi­cers. The raids come less than a week af­ter po­lice in Vi­enna de­tained a 17-year-old they de­scribe as be­long­ing to “rad­i­cal Salafist” cir­cles who they said has con­fessed to ex­per­i­ment­ing with build­ing a bomb. But yes­ter­day’s sweeps had been planned for “a longer time”, sug­gest­ing no link. In­stead, they ap­peared con­nected to in­ves­ti­ga­tions of fol­low­ers of a Ser­bian-born Is­lamic cleric sen­tenced last year in Graz to 20 years in prison for re­cruit­ing men to fight for IS. – ANA-AP

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