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Austria arrests failed asylum seeker who was ‘planning Christmas terrorist attack’

Austria arrests failed asylum seeker who was ‘planning Christmas terrorist attack’
Heavily-armed special forces descended on the small Alpine community of Fuschl am See in Austria to arrest a 25-year-old Moroccan refugee, after being tipped off that he was planning a terrorist attack.

According to a statement released by the prosecutor, the suspect was plotting a “serious offence in the period between Christmas and New Year in Salzburg,” the Local reports.

“The police were informed in recent months that unidentified men had discussed an alleged terrorist attack,” officials said after Monday’s dawn raid.

The police said “no materials clearly required for the execution of an attack” were found, but that “along with smaller amounts of drugs and cash in the amount of more than 8,000 euros several electronic devices were seized, which will be assessed.”

The man could be charged with belonging to an extremist organization, if any links with Islamic State or other such groups can be proven. Austrian media reported that the Moroccan man, whose exact time of arrival in the country is unverifiable, already had his application for asylum and initial appeal dismissed, but was still living in the country.

Its unclear how a supposedly cash-strapped refugee had managed to accumulate such a sum of cash. Six other men, who were arrested with the Moroccan on drug offenses, have since been released.

In total, nine refugees had been assigned to the rural community of 1,400 people in the state of Salzburg, after arriving in the country with the recent wave of asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

They had been placed in a converted vicarage, next door to a kindergarten, and the mayor of Fuschl, Franz Vogl, told Austrian media that the newcomers “had seemed well integrated and had helped out in the community.”

Sabine Kornberger-Scheuch, the manager of the Salzburg Red Cross, which helped to find accommodation for the men, told the media she was “shocked” and said that “there had been no problems in the refugee quarter.”

READ MORE: No doubt Berlin truck incident was terrorist attack – German Interior Ministry

The accommodation in Fuschl now stands empty, as the remaining refugees have been reallocated to a different shelter elsewhere in the state