Xenophobic bombers go for Austrian liberals

Austrian crime investigators have called on German expertise in their efforts to track down an obscure right-wing extremist group believed to be behind xenophobic letter bombs.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said yesterday that four anti- terrorist specialists from Germany had arrived in Vienna. At the same time, however, he warned that more attacks could be on the way.

Austrians were put on a state of alert over the weekend after three people were injured in two letter bomb explosions on Friday in the city of Linz and the nearby Bavarian city of Munich. Anxieties rose further on Tuesday after a letter bomb mailed from Austria went off in the north German city of Lubeck, injuring a politician.

All three bombs in the latest wave have been claimed by an Austrian-based underground group calling itself the Bavarian Liberation Army (BBA). This group has also claimed responsibility for two other waves of letter bomb attacks in December 1993 and October 1994 and the killing of four gypsies in a bomb attack this February. The BBA sees Austria as an integral part of a greater Germany - in common with all far-right extremist groups in both countries. It is also virulently xenophobic.

Friday's letter bombs were directed against a dating agency based in Linz that specialises in pairing east European women with Austrian men and an Austrian-born television presenter of German-Ghanaian parentage who lives in Munich.

Tuesday's bomb was addressed to Lubeck's deputy mayor, Dietrich Sazmeit, a critic of the mild sentences given to four right-wing extremists convicted of firebombing a synagogue in Lubeck in 1994.

The targeting of people known for their pro-foreigner, or racially tolerant, attitudes is in keeping with the pattern established in the previous bombings. According to Austrian experts on right-wing extremists, it also marks a radical departure for such groups.

"The people behind the letter bombs are quite different to the more common neo-Nazi thugs who hurl firebombs at asylum-seekers," said Wolfgang Neugebauer, of Vienna's anti-Fascist Documentation Centre. "Their methods are much more sophisticated. And instead of going for foreigners, they are going for people who are simply friendly towards foreigners."

In a letter purportedly sent by the BBA to Profil magazine, the organisation has drawn up a hitlist of 10 leading Austrian politicians, musicians and television personalities. All those mentioned on the list have so far said they will refuse to be intimidated. According to Mr Neugebauer, failure to capture those behind the bombs could lead to some form of self-censorship. "People may want to be a little more careful about what they say in future - particularly in public," he said.

Although very little is known about the BBA, officials in Vienna believe it has a very limited membership of technically skilled people who are probably in their fifties. In a bid to calm criticism of the police's failure to capture those responsible, Caspar Einem, the Austrian Interior Minister, earlier this week described the group as "extremely intelligent assailants who have yet to make any mistakes ... that is why the investigation has been so difficult."

In addition to calling in German investigators, Mr Einem said Austrian scientists and technicians would be enlisted to help in a special task force to be set up for the investigation.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices