Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) justified the authorities’ action in connection with a warning – which has since been withdrawn – about a risk of terrorist attacks against religious institutions in Vienna. In the course of the past week, a latent risk has crystallized into an acute danger, he explained in the ORF “press hour” on Sunday.
It was therefore necessary to take appropriate measures and to sensitize the population. However, the threat of Islamist extremism did not materialize. “But there is still a latent threat,” Karner said. It is therefore important to “keep all eyes and ears open”. One is not an “island of the blessed”.
There is always a “certain tension” between the interests of the police and state security on the one hand and the information needs of the public on the other. “That is why we went public with this information,” said the interior minister.
„We are networked accordingly”
That there was a threat scenario related to Islamic extremism was known from intelligence information. He also informed the so-called secret service committee, a subcommittee of the domestic committee, in parliament. According to Karner, the international contacts and networks of the newly established Directorate of State Security and Intelligence (DSN) are now working again without reservation: “We are networked accordingly.”
The Crisis Security Act must be completed this year
As for the Crisis Security Act, the Home Secretary expressed confidence that it will be ready before the end of this year. The numerous comments received during the review are currently being processed “to put together a good package”. Intensive negotiations will take place in Parliament on this, as a two-thirds majority is required on some points. “But a lot has already been achieved.”
Karner calls for “robust EU external border surveillance”
When it comes to migration, Karner echoed well-known points of view. It requires “robust external border surveillance from the EU”. For this one also has to look at the US experience with the fence to Mexico, as Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) recently suggested. In addition to technical barriers, new legal options are also needed “so that we can protect the system and more quickly reject those who come for economic reasons”.
The fact that Austria registered almost 100,000 asylum applications last year shows that the system is currently not working. That is why he maintains his no to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.