According to the parents of Ibrahim C, an Austrian man of Turkish heritage, ‘he wasn’t trying to plough down a crowd of pedestrians while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” he was just singing along to rap music while he was going to buy pizza.’
Independent Police have arrested the 21-year-old driver, named as Ibrahim C, on suspicion of attempting to run down shoppers in a possible terror attack on 29 September. Witnesses said passers-by leaped out the way as his Peugeot ploughed towards a pedestrianised zone of the Austrian capital’s Favoriten district. Fortunately, nobody was killed or badly injured.
A spokesperson for Vienna Police said Ibrahim had attempted to run down passers-by while shouting “Allahu Akbar”, repeating the Islamic phrase meaning “Our god is greater” while struggling against officers during his arrest.
Prosecutors said all lines of investigation were open but that a “religious motive could not be excluded” after a copy of the Quran was found on a car seat, with investigators searching Ibrahim’s home, laptop and electronic devices. No link to extremist groups has so far been found.
In interviews with local media, Ibrahim’s parents have said the episode was a “huge misunderstanding,” adding that their son was unemployed and had recently been suffering hallucinations after smoking cannabis. His father, Mehmet Ali C, told the Österreich newspaper: “My son is not a terrorist and he did not want to kill anyone.
The incident came hours after a jury found a Bosnian Muslim man guilty ofkilling three people and injuring dozens morein the Austrian city of Graz in June 2015. Alen Rizvanovic, 27, drove his van at high speed through pedestrianised streets and then attempting to stab passersby.