Chechens Becoming Radicalized in Austria

Forty percent of those identified by the Austrian government as Islamic radicals entered the country as migrants seeking asylum, as reported by the Associated Press. A spokesman for the interior ministry said that most became radicalized after entering Austria.

Of that radicalized group, the largest number came from Chechnya.

Austria’s interior ministry announced that 287 individuals had been identified in the country as Islamic radicals. Of those, 44 are presumed to have been killed fighting in Syria, 87 have returned after fighting in Syria or Iraq and 50 tried to leave the country to fight but were prevented.

The data cover the period from early 2011 to the end of June, 2016. The statistics were released as part of a parliamentary query from the Freedom Party. 

In three weeks, Austria will go to the polls for a rerun of its presidential election after the first result was declared invalid by the Supreme Court due to problems with postal votes and the razor-thin margin between the two candidates. The populist Freedom Party’s candidate, Norbert Hofer, is up against independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen. 

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