Austria: Afghan migrant attempts arson on FPO offices
The motive for the attack is thought to be the anti-mass migration policies of the FPÖ.
Saturday 24 August - An Afghan migrant has been arrested in Austria in connection with the attempted arson of an office of the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ).
The attack took place last week in the city of St. Pölten and saw a total of four masked individuals throw rocks at the party headquarters for Lower Austria and attempt to burn the building down using Molotov cocktails, Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reports.
Norbert Hofer - Austrian Freedom Party
During the attack, which was caught on CCTV, two of the individuals bumped into each other as one was carrying a molotov cocktail, causing one of the men to be burned and injured as a result.
The injury helped identify the man, a migrant from Afghanistan, to police after he went to the hospital shortly after the incident to have his burns treated. While in hospital it is said that the Afghan behaved in such a manner that the nurses thought it appropriate to alert the police.
The motive for the attack, at least for the migrant currently in custody, is thought to be the anti-mass migration policies of the FPÖ.
Norbert Hofer, former Austrian presidential candidate and leader of the FPÖ since May, commented on the arrest saying if it were true then 'this person forfeits all rights to protection and must be deported.'
He went on to note that it was fortunate only property was damaged and said the results of the fire could have been far worse.
The attack was heavily criticized by left-wing opponents of the FPÖ, with many climbing the attack was not believable. The left-wing Social Democrats in Langenzersdorf went as far as claiming the populist party had staged the arson attack on their own building.
The attack comes only months after the German populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) had one of their offices firebombed in the city of Döbeln in January.
The Lega party of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, another ally of the FPÖ, also had a party headquarters bombed last year in Treviso.
A far-left extremist was arrested in connection with the bombing attack earlier this year. Spanish anarchist Juan Antonio Sorroche Fernandez had previously been on the run from Italian authorities in connection to prior crimes.
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