Al-Qaida Video Threats Three Terror Suspects Arrested in Austria

In March a video appeared on an al-Qaida-linked Web site, threatening Germany and Austria if they did not pull their troops out of Afghanistan. Now, six months later, the Austrian police have made three arrests.


Three people have been arrested in Austria in connection with an online video threat by Islamic militants.
AP

Three people have been arrested in Austria in connection with an online video threat by Islamic militants.

Three people have been arrested in Austria in connection with a video threat by Islamic militants broadcast on the Internet last March.

Rudolf Gollia, spokesman for Austria's Interior Ministry, confirmed media reports that the arrests were made in connection with the video broadcast on March 11, 2007. Interior Minister Günther Platter briefed journalists about the arrests on Wednesday afternoon. He said that there was no concrete indication that attacks were planned in Austria. "Austria was not under threat of an attack at any time," he told the news conference.

The video appeared on the "Voice of the Caliphate" Web site, which is said to be run by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida group. In it, masked men demanded that Germany and Austria withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.

An unidentified speaker said that German soldiers in Afghanistan will "not be safe from attacks" by the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan. He also threatened that militants will carry out attacks in Austria and against Austrian personnel in Afghanistan.

The Web site ran subtitles in perfect German. At the time, security analysts thought it possible that the message could have been recorded by Islamic militants living in Europe.

Platter said that the suspects detained were a 20-year-old man, his 21-year-old wife, and a 26-year-old man. All are second generation immigrants from Arab countries and have Austrian passports.

The Austrian arrests come just over a week after a terror plot by the Islamic Jihad Union was foiled in Germany and eight suspected members of al-Qaida were arrested in Denmark.

smd/ap/reuters

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