Karner: Starting signal for the protection of the constitution in federal states

2023-12-11 12:15:06

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner presents guidelines for the further development of state security in the federal states: more staff and “state security sensors” as an early warning system

Vienna (OTS) Almost exactly nine months ago to the day, the Director of the State Security and Intelligence Service (DSN), Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, and the General Director of Public Security, Franz Ruf, were commissioned by Interior Minister Gerhard Karner to further develop the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the federal states. The result of this sales process was presented on December 11, 2023 at the Vienna Ministry of the Interior. The key points of the reform starting in January 2024:

• Intensification of investigative work in cyberspace,

• Increased prevention work – especially in schools (keyword: hate on the internet)

• and the implementation of “state security sensors”.

The latter are civil servants who support regional investigators with specialized knowledge, for example in the area of ​​banned symbols, and serve as “eyes and ears” in the communities and districts. In total, the LSE reform will create 160 additional jobs.

Further development of state security in the federal states

“The aim of the nine state offices for state security and combating extremism (LSE) is to roll out the successful DSN model to the federal states in order to be able to assess potential threat situations even better,” explained Karner. These would appear increasingly in the area of ​​extremism and terrorism in the form of Reich citizens, radical climate activists, right-wing radicals and Islamist extremists. “With the further organizational and strategic development of the DSN in the regions, we are in the best possible position to deal with these threats,” added the Interior Minister and in this context referred to the successes of the criminal service reform, in which police work is also further specialized, “in order to be even closer to the people to be”.

In his statement, the General Director of Public Security, Franz Ruf, highlighted the increase in “ideological criminal data from minors and young people” and identified a “great need for prevention in society as a whole” in this regard. The LSE reform therefore also includes a large training and prevention package including a budgetary increase in funds to around 4.2 million euros.

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Extremism prevention with a focus on schools and clubs

In the future, a central cornerstone of prevention work will be prevention officers at state and local level, who are intended to further strengthen the “already well-functioning early warning system for dangerous situations,” said DSN director Omar Haijawi-Pirchner. Currently, 80 prevention officers have already been trained, and the number is expected to be increased to 200 next year. The most recent case from Upper Austria shows how important training and specialization of highly qualified specialists is in the field of combating extremism. Thanks to the good intelligence and cooperation of the security services, a 16-year-old Austrian with Turkish roots who wanted to join the Islamic State and had made concrete plans to attack a synagogue in Austria was arrested on December 7, 2023. “The LSE reform helps us to further expand and standardize threat and risk management and, thanks to standardized analyses, to assess threats even better,” Omar Haijawi-Pirchner is convinced.

Questions & Contact:

federal Ministry of Internal Affairs
Ministerial Councilor Markus Haindl, BA MA
Press spokesman for the Federal Minister
+43 (0) 1-531 26 – 90 1021

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