October Bratislava Terror Attack: Far Right Gunman was Deeply Immersed in Online Accelerationism
Slovakia was recently shaken by a rare domestic terrorist attack. The shooting claimed two lives and left another person wounded. The perpetrator was a 19-year-old neo-Nazi who had been heavily steeped in hard-right accelerationist online propaganda since at least 2019, according to his own manifesto, to which he posted links on Twitter moments prior to the attack.
On October 12th, Juraj Krajčík entered the popular thoroughfare of Zámocká Street in the heart of Bratislava’s Old City before ducking into an alcove outside of an LGBT bar where he remained for nearly half an hour. Finally, he emerged with a firearm—said by Slovak press to be equipped with a laser sight—and began firing on an exterior bench and into an open window of Tepláreň bar. Krajčík killed two people and injured a third, then fled the scene, and eventually took his own life in a city park. Police found his body early the next morning. He had scouted out the bar months before and even photographed himself in front of Tepláreň, later posting the selfie to social media.
Outside of Slovakia, the attack gathered some press but seems to have been eclipsed since by a string of fatal mass shootings in the US, one recently at an LGBT bar in Colorado. Within Slovakia, however, there are questions as to whether this is indicative of a new trend, despite there being only a modest history of right-wing terrorism in this post-communist country since its independence from the greater Czechoslovak state in 1993. (In 2010, a Slovak man went on a rampage with a rifle and two handguns, killing seven and injuring fifteen. In 2011, a nail bomb targeting a fast-food restaurant was detonated in the nation’s capital, but thankfully did not injure anyone.) START’s Global Terrorism Database lists only 19 terrorist attacks in Slovakia between 1994-2018, the majority of them non-lethal, and all of the perpetrators either having unknown or far-right motivations according to the dataset.