The shooter, who killed four people in the terrorist attack in Austria, posed with guns on social media before continuing to rage.
20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai posted a photo on his Instagram account showing the three weapons he would use for the attack and pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State (IS) Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.
Fejzulai, who held both Austrian and North Macedonian citizenship, began his attack on Monday at 8 p.m. near Vienna’s central synagogue, armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and a machete.
He killed an elderly man and woman, a young male passerby, and a waitress.
One of the victims was a German woman and one of the men was reportedly from Korneuburg, Austria.
Austrian authorities believe Fejzulai acted alone during the attack and 22 others – including a police officer – were injured when he attacked six different locations in a small area full of nightlife.
Seven people were in critical condition last night.
About 14 people from among the perpetrators were arrested and interrogated last night.
The UK has increased its terrorist threat from “major” to “major” in the face of the recent terrorist attacks.
Last week, three more died in a knife attack in Nice, France, and a teacher was murdered in Paris last month.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the British people should be “vigilant but not alarmed”.
It became known yesterday that the Islamist Fejzulai was released early from prison in December after being detained for 22 months in April 2019 to join ISIS.
He is believed to have been released early after participating in a domestic deradicalization program.
His own mother reportedly turned to authorities two years ago when he disappeared before he was arrested last year.
Fejzulai is said to have radicalized on the Internet as a teenager.
According to reports, he was born in Mödling near Vienna as the son of a gardener and a retail saleswoman.
In April last year, he told the Vienna regional court that he had never felt disadvantaged in his life, reported the Austrian newspaper Der Standard.
According to his own statements, he ended up in the “wrong mosque” at the end of 2016.
The newspaper reported that his school performance was deteriorating and there were more arguments with his mother.
He told the court that he wanted to leave home and that he expected a better life with IS, with his own home and income.
The court heard that he had traveled from Vienna via Istanbul to the Turkish-Syrian border area in September 2018, where he lived with two Germans and a Belgian in an IS-safe house, the newspaper wrote.
A huge police and military presence stayed in town last night and the barriers were finally lifted around 5 p.m.
Bullet holes from Fejzulai’s rampage could be seen through glass doors, sidewalks were stained with blood, and unfinished food and drink showed the way victims fled for their lives in the city’s party district.
When Fejzulai started spraying bullets, heroic locals barricaded hundreds of partygoers in bars and restaurants.
Sunil Dutt, the manager of the Castelletto restaurant, saw Fejzulai shooting wildly and said that if the police had not chased him away, “200 people” could easily have died.
“I looked out and saw him, all in white, with people who were running for their lives,” he told the mirror last night.
“A bullet went into our window and then the police chased him away. He went towards around 200 people who had left bars.
“He would have killed them all. It didn’t really aim, it just sprayed bullets all over the place.
“I got about 100 people in and we stayed in the basement until midnight before they could be sure.
“I saw the policeman shot and not long after he was shot.
“I still haven’t been home – I stayed with my colleagues all night.”
The policeman should be in a stable condition.
Goks Oz, who runs the Max and Benito Café, shielded around 30 people when shots rang out outside.
He led frightened onlookers upstairs, locked the doors, turned off the lights, and crouched down while the group waited in stone silence for the horror to pass.
“I suddenly saw about 20 people run away after hearing what sounded like fireworks,” he said.
“Two girls came in scared, I put them upstairs with some customers and then brought a few more people in before locking the doors.
“We got them water and tried to calm them down. It was absolutely terrifying, but we had to do something. People ran for their lives.
“I was used to hearing about terrorist attacks in (his homeland) Turkey, but not here – not in Austria.”
The Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said yesterday: “My thoughts in these difficult hours are with the victims and relatives. We think of the dead and injured, including an officer on duty.
“We saw an attack by an Islamist terrorist.
“Austria is a democracy characterized by freedom of speech and tolerance in living together.
“Yesterday’s attack is an attack on these values and an inadequate attempt to divide us. We won’t stand for it. There will be consequences.