November 2, 2020: Wannabe ISIS terrorist carries out shooting in Austria

On November 2, 2020 a wannabe Austrian ISIS terrorist killed four and wounded more than a dozen in Vienna before he was killed by police.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Why is it that so many see joining a terrorist group as a wise career move?

At some point in our lives we have to make a decision on what we want to be when we ‘grow up’. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, whatever the choice may be. We all get to the point where we want to strike out on our own, make our way, find something interesting to do, and go on with life.

Me, I always wanted to be an archaeologist/anthropologist/paleontologist. There was something about the deep past that held me in its grip and my home library was full of books on the topic. I even used to go ‘hunting for fossils’ in a nearby creek bed every Saturday morning (seldom finding any alas!). Instead I became an intelligence analyst for the Canadian government for three decades. Go figure!

Nowadays the options before us are next to infinite. Stay in school and be a doctor? Fine. Go to college and become an electrician? Good money in that. The choices we have now are unparalleled in human history. So, what about joining a terrorist group?

I would imagine that most of my readers we see this as a sub-optimal quest. Not only are most terrorists vilified but hanging around other terrorists is a good way to get killed by drones, or airstrikes, or armies. Longevity is not a selling feature here!

And yet many do exactly that. In the West tens of thousands in the 2010s thought that joining Islamic State (ISIS) was a good plan, and many reached their goals. Some, however, did not, but that did not stop them from carrying out acts of violent extremism.

On this day in 2020

A 20-year-old Austrian named as Kujtim Fejzulai, armed with a shortened Kalashnikov, a handgun, a machete and a fake explosive belt, was shot dead by police after he had killed four in Vienna. He was a ‘wannabe’ ISIS terrorist who failed in hooking up with the group in Iraq and Syria. He also ‘fooled’ the Austrian justice system’s de-radicalisation programme, into which he had been placed in 2019.

 The Caliphate’s soldier, Abu Dajana al-Albani attacked gatherings of Crusaders.

ISIS statement

In the end the terrorist got his wish in a way: ISIS claimed him as one of ‘theirs’. He also made a mockery of the Austrian government’s efforts to ‘undo’ violent radicalisation. Still, police shot him dead after his killing spree, underscoring his poor career selection.

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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