Is Vienna the next European capital at risk for domestic terrorism? A "high proportion" of Muslim teenagers there are at risk of being radicalized, according to a study released Monday by the Austrian capital city.
A total of 401 local teens surveyed were sorted into three groups: "vulnerable", "ambivalent" and "moderates." More than 200 of them were Muslims aged between 14 and 24-years-old, according to Ken Güngör, the author of the study.
Twenty seven percent of the Muslim teenagers showed strong sympathy for jihadism as well as violent and anti-Western thinking. Güngör looked at factors that could increase the risk of radicalization including religion, friends, migrant experience and sex.
"Radicalization is a male problem," Güngör concluded. A "small and dangerous group" of youths are already radicalized and it’s too late to try and reach them via youth and social workers, he added.
The government in Vienna said it wants to identify the “latently vulnerable” youth and establish a dialogue with them before they become radicalized.
Already, Austrian officials are saying the country faces 'heightened danger' of a terror attack. Last month a 21-year-old Turkish man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ attempted to run over pedestrians with a car. Earlier in the month, Austria's state prosecutor charged two Austrian men with intent to take part in the Nov. 13, 2015, Paris attacks which left 130 people dead.
In conjunction with the city report, the Austrian domestic intelligence agency has warned lawmakers of Islamic radicalization developing in the region of Styria, in southeast Austria bordering Slovenia.
Nearly 300 Austrian citizens have either left or attempted to leave the country to join the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, said Peter Gridling, Director of the Federal Office for State Protection and Counterterrorism.
Presidential elections in Austria are set for December, with the right-wing, anti-immigration Freedom Party leading in the polls.