«We can now confirm that there was financial support and therefore a connection from the New Zealand attacker to the Identitarians in Austria,» Kurz said.
«Our position is clear: no matter what kind of extremism it is, whether it’s radical Islamism or far-right fanatics, must have no place in our country and our society,» he added. «We will use the full force of the law against this kind of ideology.»
Kurz said anyone found to have committed crimes would be punished. «Furthermore (we will) examine whether the Identitarians can be dissolved,» he said.
Austrian authorities said last week that the Christchurch shooter visited the country and Kurz said investigators are now trying to determine «whether there further contacts between the New Zealand attacker and Austrian citizens» during his trip.
Australian Brenton Tarrant was arrested within an hour of the March 15 attack, in which 50 Muslims were killed in the southern New Zealand city. He has been charged with murder.
Some of Tarrant’s anti-Muslim views are echoed by the Identitarian Movement.
Austria’s vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, said there would be «no tolerance» for anyone found to have ties to the Christchurch attacker and condemned his «sick ideology.»
Strache’s Freedom Party has itself been linked to the Identitarian Movement and a photo showing him and a prominent member of the group in a pub was the subject of a recent court case in Austria. Strache had sued for defamation, claiming the photo was a fake, before acknowledging it was real and withdrawing the suit.
«We have adopted clear resolutions in the Freedom Party that anybody who is active in the Identitarians can’t hold any function (in the party),» said Strache, adding that he didn’t vet everyone who wanted to take a selfie with him.