A migrant from Afghanistan has been arrested on suspicion of an attempted arson attack against an office of the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ).
According to Austria’s Kronen Zeitung, the attack which occurred in St. Pölten saw four masked men hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at the FPÖ party headquarters for Lower Austria in a blatant attempt to burn it to the ground.
During the attack, one man holding a Molotov cocktail caused another attack to catch fire after he accidentally bumped into him. The whole ordeal was captured on CCTV.
The burn that resulted from the assailant catching fire helped to identify him to police after he showed up a hospital not long after the attack. The man, who turned out to be a migrant from Afghanista, is reported to have behaved in such a way that the hospital nurses believed it warranted the attention of police.
Police believe the Afghan migrant’s motivation for the attack is the anti-mass migration orientation of the populist FPÖ.
Former Austrian presidential candidate and leader of the FPÖ Norbert Hofer, when commenting about the arson attack, said that if it’s true then "this person forfeits all rights to protection and must be deported." Hofer also mentioned that it was lucky that nobody was hurt during the attack.
Leftist adversaries of the FPÖ have engaged in conspiracy theories about the attack, with some claiming that it wasn’t believable. Some, like the leftist Social Democrats in Langenzersdorf, claimed the FPÖ had carried out a false flag attack on their own building to garner attention and sympathy.
But the FPÖ isn’t the only National Populist party in Europe to have their political offices violently attacked.
Last year in Treviso, Italy, Matteo Salvini’s League party had their party headquarters bombed. Juan Antonio Sorroche Fernandez, a far-left extremist from Spain, was arrested in connection with the bombing.
In January, Germany’s AfD had its offices firebombed in the city of Döbeln.
Last month, a wooden gazebo where AfD politician Sebastian Koch and his partner were both sleeping, was set ablaze by a group of unknown assailants at a summer festival for the youth branch of the AfD.
A little over a week ago, in Krefeld, Germany, the car of an AfD party official was torched by an arsonist.