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German police raid homes of suspected accomplices to Vienna attacker

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By Reuters
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BERLIN -German police on Wednesday raided the living quarters of two suspected accomplices of a jihadist who killed four people in a shooting rampage in the Austrian capital Vienna last November, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said.

Police searched the homes of Kosovan national Blinor S. and German Drilon G., who are suspected of failing to report plans for the attack to the authorities, prosecutors said.

Both hold radical Islamist views and were in close contact on social media with the attacker, prosecutors said.

No arrests were made.

Kujtim Fejzulai, a 20-year-old Austrian who also held North Macedonian nationality, was killed by police minutes after opening fire on crowded bars in Vienna on Nov. 2.

Austria has acknowledged that “intolerable mistakes were made” in the handling of intelligence on Fejzulai, a convicted jihadist who had been released from jail less than a year earlier.

The two men whose living quarters were searched in Germany travelled to Vienna shortly after Fejzulai obtained the assault rifle used in the attack and stayed in his apartment for several days in July 2020, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

The office said they must at least have believed it was possible that Fejzulai would carry out the attack but had failed to report his plans to the authorities.

Following the attack, the suspects had tried to conceal their connection with Fejzulai by deleting communications and contact with him on their mobile phones and social media networks, the prosecutor’s office said.

Austria arrested 15 people in the aftermath of the shootings and police in Germany searched homes and businesses linked to four people believed to have had ties to Fejzulai.