Austria: Apparent drop in numbers of new radical Islamists

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2017 6:42 AM

VIENNA (AP) — Figures from Austria's Interior Ministry suggest that the number of people newly embracing radical Islamist beliefs in the country may be declining even as authorities step up efforts to identify them.

The ministry says 34 people were detained last year for investigation of possible links to Islamic-motivated terrorism, compared to 49 in 2015.

Wednesday's figures show that the ministry designated 139 people as newly turned to radical Islam in 2014. That's compared to 59 in 2015, and 18 last year.

Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck says the numbers reflect the "reduced attractiveness" of the Islamic State group as it comes under increased pressure and new Austrian efforts aimed at combating radicalization.