Austria

Austrian police arrest 'terror' suspect planning attack

Interior minister says a potential "terror attack" in Vienna averted with the arrest of the 18-year-old suspect.

Austrian police said that prior to the arrest there 'growing indications' of an attack planned for Vienna [Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters]

Austrian authorities say they have arrested an 18-year-old man suspected of planning a "bomb" attack in Vienna. 

"Our police forces managed in quick time to arrest a suspect and so prevent a potential "terror" attack in the federal capital, Vienna," Austria's interior minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, said on Friday, shortly after police in the capital announced the arrest.

"The suspect is an Austrian citizen with a migration background, who is 18 years old," Sobotka told a news conference. He said that possible indications that he may be planning attacks were being investigated.

"There are individual indications that we have to investigate. There is one contact that is pretty clear and there are several indications that will be looked at intensively," Sobotka said.

Earlier, police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger told the Austria Press Agency that the man had been under observation after authorities received a tip from a "foreign intelligence service," and was arrested on Friday afternoon in a Vienna apartment by a SWAT team.

"The man has been in custody ... There are still lots of things to clear up," Keiblinger told the Austria Press Agency.

Austria's Kronen Zeitung said the tip received had been that "a group of Albanian Islamic extremists" were planning an attack in Vienna between January 15 and January 30.

Police issued a public warning for people to be on alert at crowded public places and to inform police if they see any suspicious objects.

Police also increased the number of officers on the street.

Austria has been spared in the string of attacks suffered by other European countries but has increased security measures.

Source: News agencies