Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer admitted on Friday that the bomber who killed four people in Vienna on Monday had not been placed under surveillance before, despite having contacted people watched by the Vienna National Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Combating Terrorism (LVT).
These are the contacts of the future murderer in July with people in Austria, who were followed by the LVT on behalf of analogous German services. No appropriate steps were taken then, committing “obvious and, from our point of view, impossible to tolerate mistakes,” the minister said, adding that “immediate personal consequences” were drawn from it. The head of the Viennese LVT, Erich Zwettler, was dismissed at his own request. When asked if he felt politically responsible for these omissions, Nehammer replied that he saw his responsibility in acting when he was aware of the irregularities. According to the head of the Viennese police, Gerhard Puerstl, taking into account the information he had about the future bomber – including his attempt to buy weapons in Slovakia – “could lead to a different assessment of the threat.”