The Austrian government has agreed to a range of anti-terrorism measures to protect the public after a deadly attack in Vienna last week left four people dead and 23 others wounded.
The proposals, which were announced by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, include the ability to keep individuals convicted of terror offences imprisoned for life, electronic surveillance of individuals convicted of terror-related offences upon release, and the criminalization of religiously motivated political extremism.
Speaking with reporters after a cabinet meeting, Kurz said the measures will fight against political Islam and the ideological basis behind it in order to move, not only against terrorists but those who prepare the ground for terrorism.
Es wird weitere Möglichkeiten für die Schließung der Kultusstätten geben, eine Einführung eines Imame-Registers, das Symbol- & Vereinsgesetz wird verschärft & darüber hinaus werden Maßnahmen gesetzt, um Finanzströme zur Terrorismusfinanzierung trocken legen zu können.— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 11, 2020
In a post on Twitter, Kurz went on to say: “In the fight against political Islam, we will create a criminal offense called ‘political Islam’ in order to be able to take action against those who are not terrorists themselves, but who create a breeding ground for such.
“There will be further possibilities for the closure of places of worship, the introduction of an imams register, the symbol and association law will be tightened and measures will be taken to drain financial flows for terrorist financing.”
The proposals will be brought before parliament in December for a vote.