From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? Quarterly Report 2018 Austria


The analysis of an initial small sample suggests that there is indeed a certain crime-terror nexus within the Austrian prison population of interest. These findings are preliminary, and they might change with more cases being examined so that the true extent of the crime-terror nexus remains to be determined. Nevertheless, it can already be concluded that among the imprisoned jihadists there are individuals who displayed violent criminal behaviour ahead of their conviction.

In 2015, 48 individuals were arrested for committing terrorist offenses associated with jihadist ideology in Austria . Out of these 48 arrestees, 19 were sentenced to imprisonment, while others received a suspended sentence. This sample of 19 imprisoned jihadists will constitute the object of this initial report, as well as 5 cases analysed in detail. Religion is an important factor in all the five cases examined so far. One individual converted from Christianity to Islam and subsequently became a violent extremist.