Slovakia gay bar shooting classified as hate-inspired terrorism

Prior to the attack, the gunman allegedly described the Buffalo supermarket shooter as his inspiration for carrying out terrorist acts.

Memorial messages for the victims of the Slovakia shooting.
Image: Twitter: @HelenaTesarova

Police in Slovakia have reclassified the tragic shooting that occurred outside a Bratislava queer bar on Wednesday, October 12, as an act of hate-inspired terrorism. The attack, carried out by 19 year-old Juraj Krajcik, resulted in the deaths of two men under the age of 30, and a woman being hospitalised for her injuries.

Although the gunman’s whereabouts were unknown for several hours after the event, the teenager’s body was found the next day after a brief manhunt.

The National Crime Agency in Slovakia originally described the incident as premeditated murder, motivated by hatred of a sexual minority, but officials have recategorised the double murder as hate-inspired terrorism. This comes after social media posts allegedly published by the perpetrator were uncovered, with Krajcik believed to have tweeted the hashtags “#bratislava #hatecrime #gaybar”, as well as “feeling no regrets, isn’t that funny?” on the same night of the attack.

According to Homeland Security Today, the 19 year-old tweeted a selfie in mid-August standing across from Tepláreň, the LGBTQ+ bar where the attack occurred, followed by another post in September reading: “in all likelyhood [sic] I will die in the course of the operation.” 

The news outlet also reports that on October 11 and 12, he tweeted: “I have made my decision,” and “It will be done”.

Shortly before the shooting, a 65-page document was uploaded online by an author claiming to be of Slovak origin and born in July 2003. Although no name accompanied the piece, it was signed by “JK”, and most recently dated as August 24.

“Since 2019, I have slowly been preparing: gathering targets, researching and monitoring them, reading about tactics and strategies,” the text read.

Additionally, the Slovakian allegedly described the 18 year-old Buffalo supermarket shooter, who killed 10 Black people in a New York store, as his “inspiration” for committing terrorist acts.

Krajcik is said to be the son of a former prominent far-right politician, and he reportedly used his father’s weapon to carry out the attack.

Following the tragedy, thousands took to the streets of Slovakia to protest against homophobia in the nation. President Zuzana Caputova shared her views at the march, stating: “Hate crimes are an attack on the whole society, of which the LGBTQI+ community is a valuable member.”

Also in attendance at the protest, Prime Minister Eduard Heger condemned the attack over Twitter, writing: “No form of white supremacy, racism and #extremism against communities, incl. #LGBTI, can be tolerated. We will fight disinfo channels spreading hate &protect minorities”.

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