• Austria's news in English

Austria strengthens Jihadist border checks

The Local · 7 Nov 2014, 12:35

Published: 07 Nov 2014 12:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to a report in the news daily Heute, Austria's Ministry of the Interior takes the threat of radicalized returnees very seriously.  There are an estimated 154 people from Austria who have gone to fight in Syria with the jihadists, of whom 26 have most likely been killed.

"We know that people who were in the jihad and have come back are ticking time bombs. That is why we need to make more stringent checks, and that's why we have started this week with a more targeted inspection of persons, especially those arriving from crisis destinations," said Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner of the ruling conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP.)

These destinations include Turkey, the Middle East and other Arab regions, many of which are used as transit points from Syria, one of the world's current jihadist hotspots.

There are now 250 border police on duty at Schwechat Airport in Vienna.

"On the one hand those who go or come back from the Jihad are also the focus of national security - and rightly so. On the other hand we also get information from parents and their friends and acquaintances if they are worried that teenagers become radicalized or go to fight in a holy war," said Mikl-Leitner.

Story continues below…

Each notification would be looked into, she said on Thursday at a security summit at the Schwechat Airport.

Currently, there are 100 people in Austria who are the targets of state police investigation.  Approximately 3,000 Europeans are currently taking part in the fighting in Syria, some of whom are thought to have traveled to Syria via Vienna and Turkey.

To facilitate the work of the authorities at the Schwechat airport, a Europe-wide database of suspected Islamists and radicals is now in the process of being set up.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

The Local List
Five Austrian films we promise won't make you depressed
Still from the comedy Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert.

With the Viennale film festival opening on Thursday, we thought it’s time to take a look at the best of Austrian cinema.

Clown scares passengers at Vienna’s Praterstern station
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

The first “scary clown” has been spotted in Vienna - at the Praterstern train and metro station which is a known hotspot for crime and addicts.

Up to 90 percent of failed asylum seekers 'not deported'
Refugees and migrants arriving in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A.McConnell

Up to 90 percent of failed asylum seekers are not being deported from Austria because their countries of origin will not agree to readmit them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available