Austrian security officials have announced the dismantling of a suspected terror cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) group. The cell consisted of nine young men and one woman, with one suspect currently detained. The domestic intelligence service, DSN, stated that the suspects exhibited an attitude between “fundamental Islamic” and “terrorist.” Further investigations are ongoing, and no additional details about the suspects have been disclosed.
The suspects, aged between 15 and 23, reside near the city of Linz in northern Austria. According to the DSN, they have been involved in recruiting for IS and engaging in its criminal activities for an extended period. The intelligence service also revealed that the group had plans to establish a mosque or prayer room under the banner of a decorative Taliban flag through missionary and recruitment activities.
The identities of the suspects have not been disclosed due to Austrian privacy rules. However, reports from Austria’s APA news agency suggest that the suspects are from Austria, Russia, Croatia, or are stateless individuals. In early July, authorities conducted house searches, seizing numerous cell phones, laptops, PCs, data carriers, and propaganda materials.
The public prosecutor’s office in Linz ordered the detention of an 18-year-old suspect due to the risk of flight or further criminal activities. The remaining suspects are currently under investigation. The DSN also alleged that the group had connections to the Caucasus Emirate, an Islamic extremist organization operating in Russia’s Caucasus region, but no additional information regarding this accusation was provided.
Additionally, the group is accused of encouraging a 19-year-old individual to commit acts of property damage and spray IS graffiti in St. Poelten, located west of Vienna.