Bratislava, December 22 (TASR) – A terrorist threat originating from Austria could also put Bratislava in danger, believes former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) director and Former Intelligence Officers Association chair Igor Cibula.
“The attention that the police and intelligence community in Slovakia are paying to the security situation with regard to the recent terrorist attack in Berlin can’t be perceived as an empty gesture, particularly in Bratislava, which is a close neighbour of Vienna. It can’t be disregarded that a sizeable Muslim community lives in Austria and its capital city. Throughout the past 12 months information reports have been mounting, stating that adherents of radical Islam are present in this community and working to infect the young generation of Muslims with jihadist ideology that might inspire them to acts of violence. The media have drawn attention to self-proclaimed patrols that actively and severely promote Sharia Islamic law. What’s more, some inhabitants of Vienna are afraid to go to Vienna boroughs where the self-proclaimed guardians of Islam act as protectors of public order,” said Cibula.
Such an environment stokes aversion among some Austrians, who view the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafist Sunnis as a threat to the values of European culture. “The Austrian police and intelligence bodies are also aware that jihadists from Bosnia in particular are coming to Austria. Among these are Sunni extremists from Middle Eastern countries that support Islamic State and other jihadist groups. These are joining forces with representatives of jihad from the Bosnian canton of Tuzla who were expelled by Bosnian security forces. Austrian security forces are officially cautious in providing information on Islamic extremists in order not to encourage Austrian right-wing extremists,” claimed Cibula.
“Slovakia is well known for its principled rejecting stance towards migrants from Middle Eastern countries, and so a demonstrative act of terrorism on the part of Austrian Islamists against the Slovak Republic can’t be ruled out,” said the former SIS director.
“It is the Vienna Muslim community where individuals who could be considered a security threat for Slovakia as well can be found. On the other hand, for the sake of objectivity, it’s necessary to underline that Islam in Austria is the second largest denomination after Catholicism and that most Austrian Muslims aren’t favourably inclined towards the ideas of radical Islam. Islamists, however, are attempting to infiltrate the upbringing of Muslim children at nursery schools and to exert their influence particularly over young people, who are impressionable enough to succumb to radical Islamism and under the guidance of internet manuals commit terrorist acts similar to the one that occurred in Berlin on Monday [December 19] in lone wolf style,” said Cibula.