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'Jihadist' suspect arrested in Lower Austria

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File photo showing Islamic Jihad members in the Gaza Strip. Photo: APA/EPA/ALI ALI
15:14 CEST+02:00
A Chechen asylum seeker has been arrested in Haidenreichstein, Lower Austria, for allegedly fighting alongside Islamist militants in Syria's civil war.

The 29-year-old suspected jihadist was preparing to leave Austria, police said. He is now in prison in Krems.

Previously, Lower Austria’s State Office for Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism investigated the man on suspicion of participation in a terrorist organisation.

He allegedly fought in Syria in 2013. In December of that year he travelled to Austria for medical treatment and applied for asylum. His request was denied and he then appealed.

As many as 130 people from Austria are believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad. More than half of Austrian's jihadists originally come from the Caucasus region and have a valid residence permit in Austria.

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