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Austrian police foil alleged Islamic State sympathisers' plot to attack Vienna pride parade

Vienna celebrates pride month
Vienna celebrates pride month Copyright Theresa Wey/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Theresa Wey/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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Authorities said pride participants were not in danger at any time.

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Austrian authorities said Sunday they had foiled a possible attack on Vienna's Pride parade by three young men who allegedly sympathised with the extremist Islamic State group.

The head of Austria's domestic intelligence service, Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, told reporters that the suspects, aged 14, 17 and 20, were arrested before the start of the Saturday's Pride parade, which was attended by around 300,000 people, public broadcaster ORF reported.

According to Haijawi-Pirchner, the three suspects, whose identities have not been fully revealed, are Austrian citizens of Bosnian and Chechen origin, had radicalised online and sympathised with the Islamic State group.

One of the suspects was already known to police, he added. The intelligence service had received advance knowledge of the suspects' alleged plans, kept them "under constant control," and arrested before the start of the parade by Austria's Cobra special forces on the orders of the St. Poelten public prosecutor's office following house searches on Saturday that uncovered various evidence, including weapons, ORF reported.

The organiser of the Pride parade was only informed about the events on Sunday. The organisers did not want to create panic among the participants, especially since the police raid had already taken place, according to ORF.

Haijawi-Pirchner said that there was "no danger for the participants of the parade at any time".

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