Rapper arrested in Austria and accused of publishing neo-Nazi songs

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By Euronews  with AFP
Two people were killed outside a synagogue and kebab shop in October 2019.
Two people were killed outside a synagogue and kebab shop in October 2019.   -  Copyright  Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP

A far-right rapper has been arrested in Austria and accused of publishing music that is neo-Nazi, antisemitic and racist, the government announced.

One of the suspect's songs was used as a soundtrack by the perpetrator in the terror attack in Halle, Germany, in October 2019, reported AFP news agency.

Two people were killed by a gunman after he failed to shoot in his way into a synagogue in the city while broadcasting the attack live on a popular gaming platform.

The attack on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, is considered one of the worst anti-Semitic assaults in Germany’s post-war history.

Last month, a German court sentenced the gunman, a 28-year-old man, to life in prison for murder and attempted murder.

Austria's Interior Ministry said the rapper had been arrested "on the orders of the public prosecutor's office in Vienna" and had been taken into custody following a search on 20 January.

The suspect from Carinthia is being prosecuted for producing and spreading Nazi ideas and inciting hatred, added AFP. 

Using an anonymous pseudonym Mr Bond, the man is accused of encouraging members of neo-Nazi forums to commit terrorist attacks since 2016. Austrian intelligence had been trying to unmask the suspect for months.

"The lyrics of his songs glorify National Socialism and are antisemitic, racist and xenophobic," the Interior Ministry said.

During the search, hard disks, weapons, a military flag of the Third Reich, Nazi objects, and a mixing console were seized by the authorities.

"The fight against right-wing extremism is our historical responsibility", said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer.