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IRA Terror in Austria? Small-scale political violence in late 1970s Vienna

Academic & Research
Dieter and Melanie
Friday, January 21, 2022, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

In spring 1977, arson attacks targeted shops selling British goods in Vienna and other Austrian cities. The sporadic attacks lasted until June 1979, and no one was ever charged or arrested, leaving behind unresolved cases. While initially linked to the Provisional IRA by media outlets, a group using the name “Antifascist Movement” claimed to have fabricated the firebombs. The presented paper will analyze the emergence and decline of this series of politically motivated firebomb attacks in the Austrian capital Vienna and other Austrian cities. Being one of the few cases of domestic left-wing terrorism in Austria during the so-called “long 1970s”, a particular focus will be placed on the transnational influence that motivated these attacks, most notable the Northern Irish Troubles. Doing so will provide an understanding of the transnational influence of the Northern Irish conflict throughout Western Europe in the long 1970s.


Dr Dieter Reinisch is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland in Galway and an Adjunct Professor in International Relations at Webster University. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute.

Dr Melanie Sindelar is a DAAD Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum, an Anthropologist in the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and an Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Liberal Arts at Webster University. She holds a PhD from the University of Vienna.


The event will take place online. Zoom link available upon request (please e-mail