90 Miles From Tyranny : French Christmas market shooter was radical Islamist on government’s radar

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

French Christmas market shooter was radical Islamist on government’s radar

The man who sprayed gunfire at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, killing three people and wounding 13 others, was identified as a radicalized Islamist with a lengthy rap sheet who was on France’s national security list as a possible terror threat, according to reports.

Cherif Chekatt, 29, who was known to be part of radicalized networks in his native Strasbourg, is a “repeat offender” and “delinquent” who served time in French and German prisons, the UK’s Independent reported.

Senior Interior Ministry official Laurent Nuñez said on France-Inter radio that police had sought to arrest Chekatt on Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting, in connection to an attempted murder and armed robbery.

He was not at home – where explosives were reportedly found — but five other people were detained, authorities said, according to the Guardian of the UK.

Nuñez said the failed arrest might be one reason for the attack.

“Right now, the terrorist motive for this attack has not been established, and I would advise extreme caution over this. The hunt is taking place and the priority is to find this attacker,” he said.

Police officers patrol in the railway station of the city of Strasbourg following a shooting at a Christmas market.
Chekatt has been on France’s “Fiche S,” a French register of those who are considered to pose a threat to national security. The S-card permits police to place suspects under surveillance, but is not grounds for arrest.

Among people on the list are suspected Islamist extremists, major criminals, political militants and anarchists.

France raised the security alert level as hundreds of police and soldiers hunted for Chekatt, who may have fled to neighboring Germany, officials said.

A cabdriver, flagged down by the gunman and ordered to take him out of the city center, told authorities that the suspect had been injured during a gun battle.

“Three hundred and fifty police and gendarmes are currently on the ground to apprehend the suspect, supported by two helicopters, the RAID [French anti-terror police], the BRI [anti-gang brigade] and the Sentinel force,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

“The government has decided to move the security level to ‘Emergency Attack’ with stricter controls at the borders, and the implementation of reinforced controls on all the Christmas markets that are taking place in France to avoid the risk of copycat attacks.”

Police detained five people after raiding addresses linked to the suspect overnight, the...

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1 comment:

Differ said...

That he was a known threat has to make the victims and their relatives feel better.... Like their government was looking out for them.