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Austria closes ‘radical’ mosque, association over links to Vienna attacker

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Austria has closed a mosque and an Islamic association frequented by a man who shot four people dead in a rampage through Vienna on Monday, Integration Minister Susanne Raab told a news conference on Friday.

The shooting on Monday was Austria’s first major attack in decades and its first blamed on an extremist, identified as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, who was killed by police.

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Integration Minister Susanne Raab told a press conference that the government’s religious affairs office “was informed by the interior ministry that Monday’s attacker, since his release from prison, had repeatedly visited two Vienna mosques”.

The two mosques are in Vienna’s western suburbs, one called the Melit Ibrahim mosque in the Ottakring district and the other being the Tewhid mosque in the Meidling area.

The BVT domestic intelligence agency “told us that the visits to these mosques furthered the attacker’s radicalization,” Raab said.

Only one of the mosques was officially registered as such, Raab said.

A statement from the officially recognized Islamic Religious Community of Austria said one officially registered mosque was being shut because it had broken rules over “religious doctrine and its constitution”, as well as national legislation governing Islamic institutions.

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