Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovakia had warned authorities in Vienna that “suspects from Austria” were trying to buy ammunition back in July, local police forces revealed.
Among those who traveled from Austria to Slovakia to buy ammo last summer was the gunman who killed at least four people on Monday night in the centre of Vienna.
More than 20 others were wounded in the shooting, with a number of them in serious condition. The attacker was shot dead by police on the scene.
The trip was unsuccessful as the gunman didn’t have a proper licence to purchase ammunition for a Kalashnikov AK-47, according to reports from German media.
Local authorities added that the weapons used during Monday’s killing spree were not bought in Slovakia – as has sometimes been the case in past terrorist attacks in Europe, including the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris.
Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer admitted yesterday that Slovakia’s warning had prompted an investigation by domestic intelligence services but that nothing was done to act on the tip-off.
“Something obviously went wrong in communication”, he told reporters, adding that an independent investigation should be launched to examine the topic.
The gunman, 20-year-old Kutjim Fejzulai with both Austrian and Macedonian citizenship, had received a 22-month prison sentence in April last year for trying to join the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria. He was released after only 8 months under more lenient terms that apply to young adults and, according to the Austrian Interior Minister, after convincing authorities he was “de-radicalized”.