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2018 Vienna stabbing

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On 7 March 2018, two stabbings occurred in Vienna, Austria during the evening. A man has been arrested for both attacks.[1]

Events[edit | edit source]

At 7:45pm, a family was attacked by a man outside a Japanese restaurant in Leopoldstadt, central Vienna, using a knife, three individuals in a family group family were injured. At 8:15pm, suspect stabbed a Chechen immigrant drug at the Praterstern train station.[2] An Afghan man, carrying two knives, was arrested.[3] A blood trail lead the police to his hideout.[1]

Suspect and motive[edit | edit source]

Although initially unclear if the two incidents were connected,[4][5] the arrested 23-year-old man admitted attacking the family earlier in the night,[6] though claimed that the attacks were not politically motivated. The suspect allegedly attacked the family because of his "bad, aggressive mood" and frustration about his whole life situation. A 67-year-old father received life-threatening injuries, the 56-year-old wife and the 17-year-old daughter were seriously injured. The suspect said that he committed the attack on the second man, a 20-year-old, because he made him responsible for his drug addiction.[1]

The assailant arrived in Austria in 2015 European migrant crisis.[2]

On 10 March, media reported that the suspect had already been convicted of drug trafficking in 2016 and obtained three months of conditional detention. That was confirmed by the police. The day before, the authorities had confirmed that the man had been in prison from August to December 2017 - also for drug trafficking - in Klagenfurt.[7][8]

On 12 March 2018 ORF reported, that the suspect had tried to commit suicide while in detention.[9]

Investigation[edit | edit source]

The Austrian Interior Ministry launched an investigation to determine possible mistakes made by the authorities regarding a possible earlier deportation of the suspect.[9][10] On 15 March the Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl spoke of a communication problem between the involved bodies, which led to the release of the convicted perpetrator.[11]

Reactions[edit | edit source]

The Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz commented at the case: "It is clear that many mistakes have been made in recent years in the migration and asylum policy. Unlimited migration is the cause of many problems we are currently facing. Therefore, the new Federal Government wants to fix these mistakes of the past years."[12][13]

In the Profil magazine, the Afghanistan expert Sarajuddin Rasuly stated on the case: "Some refugees from Afghanistan came as criminals or became it during their journey. Between Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey they went stealing or trafficking for the smugglers. Some young men were even raped by them. When they arrive in Austria, they are dehumanized and no longer conform to the norms of a functioning society. They have lost the threshold for violence."[14]

Impact[edit | edit source]

On 13 March the Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl announced that Austria will change its asylum policy because of this and other incidents - among them another stabbing attack on an Austrian soldier in front of the Iranian embassy by a man with Austrian papers and Egyptian roots on 11 March - in the recent days,[2] saying: "We need courageous approaches... The current asylum law will no longer meet the demands of a globalized world." The Austrian government intends to use the EU Presidency in the second half of the year to win alliances in Europe on this issue.[15] In addition, he announced that he wants to improve the system of Rückkehrberatung (return counseling) for asylum seekers.[11]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Verdächtiger gesteht Messerattacke in Wien, n-tv.de
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "„Asyl-Razzien", nach Haft sofortiger Abflug". Kronen Zeitung. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  3. Darran Simon; Paul P. Murphy (7 March 2018). "4 people stabbed in Vienna". CNN. Retrieved 17 March 2018. An "Afghan male" was arrested in connection with the attack in Praterstern, Vienna police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer told CNN 
  4. "Four seriously wounded in Austria stabbings". The Independent. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  5. "Messerangriff in Wien: Familie schwer verletzt". krone.at (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  6. "Man Went on Stabbing Attack in Vienna Because He Was in a Bad Mood, Police Say". The Independent. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  7. Messer-Attacken: Afghane schon 2016 verurteilt, Kurier.at, 9 March 2018
  8. Messerangriff: Täter (23) saß bereits im Gefängnis, Krone.at, 9 March 2018
  9. 9.0 9.1 Messerattacke: Behörden prüfen Fehler, ORF.at, 10 March 2018
  10. Inhaftierter Afghane verübte Suizidversuch, ORF.at, 12 March 2018
  11. 11.0 11.1 Messerattacke auf Familie in Wien-Leopoldstadt: Kickl spricht von Kommunikationsproblem, vienna.at, 16 March 2018
  12. Kurz kritisiert nach Messerattacke „Fehler“ seiner Vorgänger, Märkische Allgemeine, 9 March 2018
  13. Messerattacke in Wien - Kurz kritisiert die Flüchtlingspolitik seiner Vorgänger, Die Welt, 9 March 2018
  14. Messerattacke in Wien: "Sie sind entmenschlicht", Profil.at, 13 March 2018
  15. Österreich will nach blutigen Angriffen Asylrecht ändern, Die Welt, 13 March 2018

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