The Austrian government ordered the closure of “extremist mosques” four days after the attack carried out by an ISIS sympathizer in a crowded area in the capital Vienna, sources in the Interior Ministry said.
The government will provide more details at a press conference Friday afternoon to Minister of Worship and Inclusion Susan Raab and Home Minister Karl Nihamer.
The “Islamic Religious Authority in Austria”, the largest organization representing Muslims and operating 360 mosques in this country, confirmed in a statement that it had closed a place of worship “contrary to its belief.”
Its president, Umit Fural, said, “Freedom is a valuable asset in our country. We must protect it from violations, including when it leaves our ranks.”
After the attack that killed four people in the center of the capital, the conservative advisor, Sebastian Curtis, affirmed his determination to fight “political Islam”, considering it “an ideology” that posed a “danger” to the “European model of life.”
The police arrested 16 men, some of them known by the judiciary, for terrorist offenses.
On Friday, a spokeswoman for the prosecution, Nina Busic, told AFP that six of these suspects had been released because the suspicions related to them could not be proven.