Gee, no sooner had Austria decided to scrap a plan to send military troops to the border to stop the influx of Muslim invaders from Italy, when an elderly couple was beaten and stabbed to death by Tunisian Muslim man in the first Islamic jihadist attack on Austrian soil.
UK Daily Mail Hildegard Sch., 85, died after having her throat slit in the northern city of Linz on Friday while husband Siegfried, 87, was stabbed and beaten to death with a stick covered in screws. The news comes as the country shelved plans to send 750 troops to its border with Italy to head off a potential influx of Muslim migrants.
Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said on Wednesday that the 54-year-old Tunisian ‘had a jihadist background’ and ‘is clearly a radicalized Muslim’. Most Muslims accused of jihadist links in Austria have been of Chechen or Bosnian origin.
It was initially thought the suspect, who has been living in Austria since 1989, acted out of a political motive – wrongly believing the elderly couple to be involved with Austria’s far-right Freedom Party. But following a search of the Tunisian man’s home and electronic devices, investigators concluded the killings were related to Islam.
The man had known the elderly couple for some time, regularly delivering them groceries from a vegetable shop run by his wife, the Kurier newspaper reported. The couple were friendly with the suspect and had even helped him out financially, it was reported.
Following the killings, the man set fire to the couple’s house and thought about drowning himself in the Danube river, before deciding to go to police instead.
The news comes after the Austrian government floated the idea of sending hundreds of troops and armoured vehicles to its southern border with Italy, amid fears that migrants will try to cross en-masse after arriving there from North Africa.
The troops and four armoured vehicles would have been used to block roads and impose checks on those attempting to cross through the Brenner Pass, but Austria has backed away from the idea after Italy threatened to cut security cooperation. (Maybe they should rethink this)