Vienna Attack: Interview With One Of The Leading Security Experts In The World Dr. Darko Trifunović
NEW YORK (RichTVX.com) – Austria is the most beautiful country, and Vienna is the most beautiful city in the world, but the Vienna attack of November 2, the deadliest terrorist attack on Austrian soil since the 1981 Vienna synagogue attack, a terror attack on the Stadt tempel of Vienna, Austria carried out by the Abu Nidal Organization, is the latest indication that the Islamic State has morphed into a global threat, and even Austria is no longer safe, which is very sad. The shooting began at 8:00 PM on November 2, when a heavily armed man opened fire on people in Vienna’s popular nightlife area known as the Bermuda Triangle. Initially police were unsure how many attackers there were. Some witnesses spoke of up to 10, and it took some time for the Austrian police to determine that the gunman was acting alone. Members of the special forces quickly arrived at the scene. One police officer was shot and injured before the perpetrator, who was armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and a machete, was shot dead at 8:09 PM local time. The Vienna attack of November 2 provided all the patterns of a complex plot involving a high level of planning and preparation, therefore Austrian police carried out sweeping raids one week after, targeting dozens of people with suspected ties to terrorist and criminal organizations, and raided more than 60 addresses allegedly linked to radical Islamists, with orders for 30 suspects to be questioned, prosecutors said. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the police action was aimed at “cutting off the roots of political Islam”.
Prof.dr Darko Trifunovic is a founding member and Director of the Institute for National and International Security. Dr. Trifunovic is Editor in Chief of the scientific journal “Science of Security”. Dr. Trifunovic was elected as a guest professor at FUDAN University – Center of American Studies, Shanghai, China. Dr. Darko Trifunovic is a Research Professor in the rank of Associate professor at FUDAN University Institute of BRI Strategy and International Security. Dr. Trifunovic is an Adjunct Professor of Shanghai Academy of Social Science, Coordinator for Research. Dr. Darko Trifunovic is a Research Professor at the Faculty of Security Studies-University of Belgrade. He is former First Secretary of the Foreign Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the UN, Adviser to the State Secretary for War Crimes of Republic of Srpska for Terrorism and Violence and Adviser to the Minister of Police of the Republic of Srpska, BIH.
Rich TVX News sat down with one of the leading security experts in the world, Dr. Darko Trifunović, to discuss terrorism and Vienna.
You are lecturer at the Faculty of Security Studies-University of Belgrade, one of the leading academic institutes for counter-terrorism in the world, facilitating international cooperation in the global struggle against terrorism. Could you please tell us a bit more about the Institute?
Dr. Trifunovic: The Institute for National and International Security (INIS) is one of the leading academic institutes from the field of Security Science. INIS is a Scientific Academic Society (recognized by the government of Serbia) first in the World promoting Security Science. At the moment INIS has 52 professors from 28 countries, several Scientific Research fellows and Senior Security Experts as well. INIS publish “SECURITY SCIENCE” journal also, the first in the World dealing with Security as Science as well.
Scientific Journal “SECURITY SCIENCE” is open access, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Institute for National and International Security (Serbia), The Europa Institute, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, The Research Institute for European and American Studies – RIEAS (Greece), and ITS – Institute for Transnational Studies (Germany). The Institute conducts scientific research and education in cooperation with universities, institutes, and scientific organizations.
INIS gather academicians, researchers and scholars to share information and expertise through research papers, situation reports and academic publications for worldwide distribution. It is important to underline that INIS administers the largest public domain research database on terrorism and organize crimes. The TOC-search (Terrorist and Organized Criminal Search Data Base) is a dynamic data base which offers comprehensive information on global terrorist network and helps researchers, analysts, students and others working to prevent terrorism. INIS work and influence as think-tank was recognised in National and International frame, which resulted that INIS is only one of his kind which signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute for National and International Security in the area of scientific diplomacy.
In the wake of terrorist attacks last week in Vienna, the world has struggled to understand the combination of religion, European culture and influence from terrorist organizations that drove the gunmen. What are your thoughts on the terrorist attack in Vienna?
Dr. Trifunovic: Security experts expected terrorist attacks in Vienna. We have been warning for years that European metropolises and especially Vienna are the seats of terrorists and radical jihadists. Vienna is the headquarters for all Balkan jihadists who have been granted residence, citizenship and who have been using the city and Austria for their own purposes for years. When you analyze the terrorist attacks in Vienna, the question immediately arises as to what the Austrian security services were doing? The world scientific community is appalled by the arrogance and ignorant attitude of experts, if we can call them that after all, from Austria. Ask the families of the victims what they think about the fact that the Austrian authorities have ignored the problem for years, even though all the indicators indicated that terrorist attacks would take place in Austria.
Let me explain to you what are the elements that indicate that something is wrong in one territory. The first element is the existence and activities of the terrorists themselves in one territory. The second element is the existence and operation of terrorist organizations themselves. Third, the activities of so-called non-governmental organizations that finance and provide logistics to terrorists. The fourth is that the so-called state or states sponsors of terrorism operate in one territory. Fifth, that in that territory there is a use or abuse of religion in this case Islam as a motive for carrying out the attack. You see, there are all five elements in Austria. Then the question arises why the Austrian security services and politicians did not take certain actions to prevent the establishment of terrorist infrastructure? What is the reason for that? Ignorance? Intention? Which one? These issues will have to be brought to the attention of Austrian citizens responsible for the loss of life and endangering security. Generations of jihadists who came and grew up in Austria did not assimilate into Austrian society or show an intention to accept European norms, civilization and way of life. Not only Austrian but also European institutions, due to their neoliberal understanding, have neglected this problem for years and gave human rights or rights to religion an advantage over human life. But what if religion is used or abused as a motive for terrorism? What then? Is that the case here too? We have not heard leading European imams in France, Austria, Germany or Switzerland condemn terrorism in France and Austria. What does that mean then? Unlike Austria and other EU countries, Serbia and the Balkans have a domestic Muslim population that must be part of our solution to the problem, not the problem. They are European Muslims and understand the achievements and civilization of Europe. In contrast, European cities have been occupied by hundreds of thousands of migrants, including proven jihadists and ISIL members. Does anyone control that? Does anyone in Europe even know what the process of deradicalization is or has the EU set aside hundreds of millions of euros through scientific projects of self-proclaimed experts on terrorism and security through HORIZON projects and that there is actually no answer? That is one of the problems. The issue of security is dealt with by scientists who have become experts in the field overnight, and in fact their knowledge is online without real experience and contact with reality. Terrorists are, after all, a reality that takes people’s lives, and that is why I do not understand all those who deal with this area, that thanks to their fixed ideas, people still lose their lives.
- Dr Darko Trifunovic is one of the leading security experts in the world.
- He is former First Secretary of the Foreign Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the UN.
- The Vienna attack of November 2, was the deadliest terrorist attack on Austrian soil since 1981.
Do you think the attack will change the way Austria deals with militant extremists?
Dr. Trifunovic: It is time for Austria to understand what it has a problem with. This problem of jihadists is not only an internal risk factor, but it is also a risk factor that comes from the international arena. Of course, Austria, like all other countries, must react with laws that will regulate this area and that will give broader powers to the security services and other institutions of the system that must constantly check the state of society and the state, and analyze the level of threat. and from which subjects this threat comes in order to include all institutions of the system in the fight against this international evil within the framework of the National Security Plan. I note that international cooperation and international solidarity are key. For example, Austria did not move a finger when jihadists burned hundreds of Christians in churches in Nigeria. Not to mention Syria and Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of Arab Christians there have been exposed to genocide by Islamic jihadists. For decades, Austria has ignored the terrorist threat coming from Albanian jihadist circles as well as from certain jihad centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why? It must be noted that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as in other parts of the Balkans where there are active jihadist cells, there are many Muslim experts who absolutely understand the terrorist threat and who need EU help in every way. Although it is a small population of jihadists in relation to the entire population of Muslims living in the Balkans, the threat is so great that it can no longer be ignored. The phenomena of converting Christians to Islam into the most radical form of Islam are also significant. These phenomena worry us all and further burden relations between nations. Not to mention the creation of the so-called White Al Qaeda.
Vienna Terror Attack: ‘Beyond Lunacy, Beyond Evil’
You have criticised Austria in the past for not addressing the foreign funding of NGO´s, mosques, muslim brotherhood facilities etc in Austria. Do you think Austria will eventually succeed in dealing with the rise of violent extremism?
Dr. Trifunovic: Nobody knows that at this moment. So far, the behavior of the Austrian authorities and politicians has been shocking, especially for us from the international security community. They, like some other countries, and France has been pushing the problem under the carpet for years, and they did not want to face the problem and reality. I am not sure that anything will change in Austria because there is obviously no scientific potential for that, precisely those experts who can make adequate security assessments. That is my opinion, I may be wrong, but here you find the first security expert who knows how to do an adequate security assessment in Austria and ask him on the basisof what scientific methodology he did it. I have never met such a person, which does not mean that he does not exist.
[INTERVIEW CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE] Interview with Dr. DarkoTrifunovic