Austria’s domestic intelligence service is investigating a rapper whose music was allegedly used as the backdrop to a deadly anti-Semitic attack in Germany last year, a spokesperson said Thursday.
The musician, known only under pseudonyms, has been calling on members of neo-Nazi online forums and chat groups to carry out terrorist attacks for several years, and has posted versions of popular songs with his own racist, extremist and anti-Semitic lyrics, according to an investigation by Austrian daily Der Standard and Germany’s public broadcaster ARD.
“We are investigating this case,” a spokesperson for the interior ministry told AFP on Thursday.
The spokesperson added that the investigation was being conducted by the BVT, Austria’s domestic intelligence agency, and had been underway for “several months”.
The man, whose real identity remains unknown, calls himself “Mr. Bond” and “anon24431009.”
He turned the Bloodhound Gang’s “The Roof Is On Fire” into “The Mosque Is On Fire,” and used the Scorpions’ “Wind of Change” to glorify Adolf Hitler in “Wind of Adolf”.
Der Standard and ARD report that his music was used as the soundtrack to a live-streamed attack last year in which a man shot dead two people after a failed attempt to storm a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.
The 28-year-old went on trial for the killings in July and admitted in court that he had planned the attack, adding that he had picked the music as a “commentary on the act.”
A female passerby and a young man at a kebab restaurant died in the attack, one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in post-war German history.
Though the Viennese musician’s posts at first showed excitement that his music had accompanied the attack, he later expressed disappointment over the attacker’s failure to enter the synagogue, branding him a “massive failure”.
The Viennese rapper is not known to have committed acts of violence or terrorism himself, but propagating Nazi ideology is a criminal offence in Austria and offenders can face long jail terms. The Ministry of Interior last year recorded 797 incidents of right-wing extremism.
In US-based online forums, the Viennese man likened the Christchurch shooter who killed 51 people in mosques in 2019 to a saint and translated his racist, anti-Semitic and extremist manifesto into German.
“We, too have to get ready to attack very soon,” he posted online, according to Der Standard and ARD.