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Austrian police interrogates Palestinians and Arabs over alleged ties to political Islam

"Do you know Yahya Ayyash and Yasser Arafat?", was one of the questions during interrogations.

Vienna (QNN)- Austrian police started a campaign against Muslims, arresting 70 people last week as part of the government’s “war on Islamism” in the country.

The Austrian police claimed it targeted headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which were raising funds for both political groups.

In the same context, refugee charity associations told QNN that nearly 70 workers were arrested by the police and interrogated regarding their work for refugees.

They added that those who were interrogated were asked about the Palestinian cause, especially Hamas movement, and their opinions about the occupation state.

“Some questions about beliefs have been randomly mixed with others about the Palestinian cause… do you have native Austrian friends? do you wake your children up for Fajr prayer? do you know Yahya Ayyash?”, the source said.

“The police asked them if they knew Yahya Ayyash or Yasser Arafat although that has nothing to do with the financing of terrorism.”

Most of those, whose houses were raided, were Egyptians, in addition to some Syrians and Palestinians, said the sources. Some raids were harsh, breaking the doors and using canines. The police also tried to interrogate some children to know the places where the father hides his money.

Police also seized smartphones, documents, computers and large sums of cash, but no weapons or explosives, reported the Times. Austrian media said €25 million have been confiscated from those, who were arrested. That has not been yet confirmed by the prosecutor.

The operation comes after reports of a visit by senior officials in the Egyptian intelligence three weeks ago. It also comes as part of Austria’s “war on Islamism”, called for by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Kurz, at the time, told German newspaper Die Welt: “Islamist extremism wants to divide our society. This hatred should not be given space. The enemy are extremists and terrorists, not immigrants. There must be no tolerance of intolerance.”

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