Germany opens borders to thousands of refugees from Hungary. About 4,300 people arrive in Germany, escaping Syria and Iraq. Austria says it received at least 6,500 refugees and migrants who flooded across the Hungarian border, where charity workers provided hospitality and much-needed bedding and food. Merkel:
The right to political asylum has no limits on the number of asylum seekers. As a strong, economically healthy country we have the strength to do what is necessary.
Austrian authorities are concerned that 16-year-old Samra Kesinovic and 15-year-old Sabina Selimovic are inspiring other Austrian teens to join extremist groups after the pair allegedly ran away from their homes in Vienna to join ISIS. Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Marakovits says authorities are noticing an increase in such incidents after a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old are detained attempting to leave the country, apparently to travel to Syria. Marakovits:
If we can catch them before they leave we have the chance to work with their parents and other institutions to bring the youngsters out of the sphere of influence that prompted them to act in this way the first place. Once they have left the country, even if they then changed their minds, it is then almost impossible to get them back.
Austrian authorities detain two girls attempting to leave the country to join extremist groups in the Middle East. The girls are aged 16 and 14, and their parents are apparently of Iraqi origin. They are caught when the mother of a third friend who was supposed to be traveling with them becomes suspicious about the amount of luggage her daughter is packing. Police are now hoping to find out how they became radicalised, and whether anybody helped them plan their trip to Syria via Turkey.
A Chechen asylum seeker suspected of preparing to join Islamist fighters in Syria is arrested in Austria. The man is believed to have fought in Syria last year and come to Austria in December for medical treatment and to apply for asylum. Police spokesman Markus Haindl:
[He] had concrete plans to travel back to Syria
Austria arrests nine people suspected of intending to join Islamic groups in Syria. The suspects are reported to be under questioning and a decision is pending on whether to place them in investigative custody. Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner:
There can only be a zero tolerance policy against jihadists. Those who themselves trample on tolerance cannot expect us to tolerate that.
Interpol is searching for two teenage girls from Austria who are believed to have run away from their homes in Vienna to join ISIS. Samra Kesinovic, 16, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, have been missing since April 10. Photos on their Facebook pages apparently show them brandishing Kalashnikov rifles – in some cases surrounded by armed men. Some of the pictures have been circulating online for years, and their families believe that those pictures, and social media posts apparently by the girls, are fake. However, Austrian officials believe that the girls are located in a training camp, are already married, and are living in the homes of their new husbands. Facebook postings apparently from the two girls say that they planned to marry so that they could become ‘holy warriors’ and indicate that they are seeking martyrdom:
Death is our goal.