Austrian authorities say a suspect has been arrested after an assault on the head of the Jewish community in Graz, the country’s second-biggest city.
Community leader Elie Rosen on Saturday afternoon saw a man throwing stones into the courtyard of a synagogue. Police have said that he spoke to the man, who then attacked him with a piece of wood — probably a baseball bat. Rosen was in his car by that point and wasn’t hurt; the assailant fled.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer tweeted Sunday night that the suspected assailant had been arrested in Graz.
On Monday, he said the suspect is a 31-year-old refugee from Syria who has been in Austria since 2013.
Police found stones in his backpack as well as a chair leg that he allegedly used as a club. Nehammer said the man admitted to the assault in questioning, APA reported.
“Investigators believe that there was an Islamist motive,” he said at a news conference. “Corresponding evidence was seized at his apartment.”