June 19, 2024

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Austrian Police | CNN

Leonard Voyager/Reuters

People ride motorcycles and scooters during a rally to celebrate LGBTQ+ rights at the annual pride parade in Vienna, Austria, June 17, 2023.


police in Austria They say they thwarted an attack on the annual pride parade in Vienna on Saturday after the arrest of three suspects with alleged links to Islamic extremism.

Omar Hijawi Pirchner of Austria’s State Protection and Intelligence Directorate told reporters at a hastily convened news conference on Sunday that the three – aged 14, 17 and 20 – are Austrian citizens of Bosnian and Chechen origin.

They allegedly became radicalized online and developed views sympathetic to ISIS, according to Haijawi-Pirchner.

He said, “In our democratic society, hate and terrorism have no place.”

State police chief Gerhard Borstel told reporters: “For the LGBT community, many Islamic and right-wing extremists represent a fierce enemy, which is evident from violent crimes committed during events in the past around the world, as well as in Europe.”

DSN had foreknowledge of the suspects’ alleged plans and kept them “under constant control”. The trio were arrested before Saturday’s show by Austrian special forces, Cobra.

Tobias Steinmaure/APA/AFP/Getty Images

Director of Austria’s domestic intelligence agency DSN Omar Hijawi-Pirchner and Vienna Chief of Police Gerhard Borstel during the press conference on Sunday.

Tobias Steinmaure/APA/AFP/Getty Images

A picture of the confiscated weapons during the press conference.

A statement issued by the Austrian Ministry of Interior stated that “the investigations conducted by the Directorate of State Protection and Intelligence concluded that several people were planning to launch an attack on the military parade.”

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“The suspects were later tracked down and detained in a coordinated attack,” she added, adding that those who attended the event were in no danger at all.

The authorities conducted property searches in Vienna and Lower Austria, during which prohibited weapons were seized.

The annual rainbow parade is part of Austria’s largest gay event in Vienna – Vienna Pride – which runs from 1st to 18th June. This year the rally was attended by about 300,000 people.