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TERRORISM

Diabetic boy ‘treated like terrorist’ at Eiffel Tower

An Austrian family who visited Paris for a short holiday say they won’t be going back to the French capital after security officials treated them “like terrorists” because their 14-year-old son carries an insulin pump.

Diabetic boy 'treated like terrorist' at Eiffel Tower

Son Samuel has type 1 diabetes, meaning his body doesn’t produce insulin. He has to have multiple insulin injections every day using an insulin pump, and has to wear an insulin pump patch on his upper arm.

However, the family was not prepared for jumpy security officials at the Eiffel Tower – who wanted to confiscate Samuel’s insulin pump and denied him access to the famous tourist attraction.

Samuel’s family said that the trip up the Eiffel Tower to see the views of Paris was to have been the highlight of the holiday – but that when a security official searched their backpacks and found the medical equipment she became suspicious that it might be some kind of explosive.

Although Samuel’s father showed her his son’s international diabetic ID card, he said the female security guard ripped the bag containing the pump out of his hands and was rude to the whole family.

“She even damaged his sterile emergency syringe, which was still in its package. We were so shocked and all we could do was cry,” Samuel’s mother Bettina said.

Since returning home to Lower Austria the family have written a complaint about the guard and delivered it to the Austrian embassy in Paris. “We don’t want other sick children to have to experience similar treatment,” Bettina said. The family say they won’t be returning to Paris anytime soon.

France stepped up security at all its tourist attractions and official buildings worldwide after terror attacks by the so-called Islamic State group in Paris last year left nearly 130 people dead.

CRIME

Case dropped against second Swiss man over Vienna attack ‘links’

Swiss prosecutors said Thursday they had dropped the case against a second Swiss man over alleged links to a deadly shooting rampage in Vienna due to a lack of evidence.

Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which last month decided to drop the case against one suspect, told AFP it had issued a discontinuation order in the case against a second man.

On November 2, 2020, convicted Islamic State sympathiser Kujtim Fejzulai killed four people in Vienna before being shot dead by police.

It was the first major attack in Austria in decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

Two Swiss citizens who knew Fejzulai were arrested in the northeastern Swiss town of Winterthur just a day after the attack on suspicion they may have helped in its preparation.

‘How was it possible?’ Austrians left asking painful questions after Vienna terror shootings

The two, who were aged 18 and 24 at the time, were known to the police and were the targets of prior criminal cases over terror-linked offences.

The OAG acknowledged Thursday that no evidence had emerged that either man had participated in any way or had prior knowledge of the attack.

The older of the two men was meanwhile hit with a penalty in a separate case with no links to the Vienna file, the OAG said.

The penalty order, seen by Swiss media, indicated that he had been found guilty of violating Switzerland’s law banning Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and related organisations and of being in possession of “depictions of violence”.

According to the ATS news agency, an IS group video was found on his phone depicting people being executed and decapitated.

He was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence, a fine of 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,100, 950 euros), and three years’ probation, ATS said.

ANALYSIS: Vienna terror attack was ‘only a matter of time’

In light of this penalty, he would not be compensated for the 176 days he spent behind bars after his arrest following the Vienna attack, it added.

The OAG said a separate case was still pending against the younger of the two men, also on suspicion he breached the Swiss law banning Al-Qaeda, IS and related organisations, and over “allegations of depictions of violence”. “The presumption of innocence applies,” it stressed.

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