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Austrian police runs large-scale operations against right-wing extremists

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
Austrian police runs large-scale operations against right-wing extremists
Police cars stand in front of Schoenbrunn Palace on February 14, 2023. (Photo by Alex HALADA / AFP)

In a comprehensive operation conducted throughout Austria, the Directorate of State Protection and Intelligence (DSN) took action against individuals associated with the far-right scene.

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The Ministry of Interior confirmed on Tuesday to the Austrian Press Agency (APA) that house searches were carried out last week in all provinces as part of the operation.

The operation targeted ten individuals accused of disseminating prohibited Nazi propaganda through electronic media and social networks and incitement. During the searches, law enforcement authorities seized weapons, ammunition, data storage devices, and Nazi memorabilia.

Under the guidance of the DSN, house searches, interrogations, and seizures were executed by order of various public prosecutors. The operation targeted nine men and one woman.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: Just how widespread is anti-Semitism in Austria?

During the searches, investigators, with the support of the State Offices for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (LVT), the Special Forces Directorate, and local police forces, confiscated items such as pennants, swastika flags, books, pictures, and insignia.

In addition to the charges mentioned above, LVT Vienna arrested one of the individuals for suspected endorsement of Islamist terrorist attacks based on an existing order from the public prosecutor's office. It should be noted that the individual suspects have no significant connections to each other, and nine preliminary proceedings under the Prohibition Act are still ongoing, according to Austrian media.

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Austrian authorities warn of an increase in cases of far-right extremism

The DSN highlighted a significant increase in recent investigations into Nazi propaganda on social networks. However, the vast amount of data involved poses a considerable challenge regarding processing, the directorate said.

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) emphasised the significance of the nationwide operation, stating, "The operation demonstrates the vigilance of the State Protection and Intelligence Directorate in monitoring extremist activities, and the police are resolutely continuing the fight against all forms of extremism."

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"Right-wing extremism threatens our democracy and our peaceful coexistence. This makes it all the more important that the judiciary and police act decisively," said Minister of Justice Alma Zadic (Greens).

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