Presence Of IS Supporters In Austria Remains Primary Domestic Security Threat - BVT Report

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Presence of IS Supporters in Austria Remains Primary Domestic Security Threat - BVT Report

VIENNA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th August, 2019) Islamic terrorism remains the greatest threat to Austria's security, with supporters of the Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) still present in the country, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT) said in a report, issued on Wednesday.

The counterintelligence body's report, dedicated to the situation in Austria in 2018, pointed out that the Alpine nation enjoyed more security than other EU countries. The BVT said that, last year, fewer people had left Austria for Syria and Iraq to join terrorists. The country also faced no terror attacks in 2018.

At the same time, the report still views Islamic terrorism as the main threat to Austria. BVT Director Peter Gridling stressed that, despite IS's defeat, there are still some of its supporters in Austria and IS leaders remain active and have large amounts of funds.

Gridling noted that last year, 320 people wanted to leave Austria for Syria and Iraq, with 62 of them having been prevented from the journeys, 93 having returned to Austria and 58 likely to have been killed. According to the BVT, 107 militants from Austria are still fighting in conflict areas.

The BVT director also marked the decreasing number of left extremist crimes, while right extremism was on the rise.

The Islamic State is an international terror organization that is actively disseminating ideas of radical islam across the world. The group seized huge territories in Syria and Iraq in 2014, which were later retaken by the countries' governments. The organization has also claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks that have occurred around the world.

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