Austrian police forces to guard radical Islamist Bosnia-born minister following threats of attacks
Affected Countries: austria;
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism, a police agency tasked with protecting the constitutional organs of the Austrian state, has allocated three agents to shadow Justice Minister Alma Zadic, citing the risk of a planned attack on her, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported.
Right populists in Austria have targeted the 35-year-old Bosnia-born lawyer and member of the Green Party following her appointment, mostly due to her foreign background.
The youngest justice minister in Austrian history came to the country as a child refugee during the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
Zadic drew international media attention after reports emerged that she might become a government minister. But local far-rightists in the Freedom Party of Austria, FPO, and the right-wing Identitarian Movement of Austria were not enthused.
The FPO was part of a coalition government until 2019, when its leader Heinz-Christian Strache stepped down because of his involvement in underhanded political practices. The development led to the collapse of its coalition with the centre-right Austrian People’s Party, OVP.
In December, Patrick Lenart of the Identitarian Movement attacked Zadic, accusing her of calling his organisation an illegal wing of the FPO, after it had been cleared of organised crime charges.
Not long after, a video shared by the FPO’s Dominik Nepp and Martin Sellner of the Identitarian Movement accused Zadic of links with radical Islamists.
Zadic was tipped to become the new Justice Minister after the leaders of the centre-right OVP and the Greens, Sebastian Kurz and Werner Kogler, last week agreed to form a coalition government. Under the agreement, Kurz will again become Chancellor and Kogler will be Vice-Chancellor.
Of the 15 ministries, four will belong to the Greens, including the Justice Ministry, now headed by Zadic.
Zadic came to Vienna in 1994 aged ten as a refugee, escaping from the 1992-5 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After studying law in Vienna, she completed her internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in The Hague. She gained international experience in law firms in New York and London and graduated from Columbia University. On her return from the US, she worked in Austria as a lawyer for seven years.
She won her first seat in the Austrian parliament in the 2017 elections as a candidate for the Pils list, becoming the first MP with a Bosnian migration background. In the 2019 elections, in which she ran as a member of the Greens, she was re-elected.
Source: Balkan Insight