The radicalized terrorist had an extensive history of violence and crime, but he was walking free in France before deciding to take the lives of innocent people, apparently, especially Christians.
The 29-year-old French terrorist managed to flee from police and is still at large after hijacking a taxi, but what many people find incomprehensible is that he was designated a ‘threat to the state’ on a terrorist watchlist.
In fact, police tried to execute a warrant for his capture on the morning before the attack took place in the historic Christmas market in Strasbourg’s central square, Place Kleber, which is also home to the European Parliament.
Some of those injured are still fighting for their lives, and five people have been arrested in connection with the terror killing.
They’re also being questioned in relation to “previous affairs” linked to Chekatt, Laurent Nunez, secretary of state for the Interior Ministry, said.
Chekatt was identified by DNA and CCTV images, and reports claim grenades were discovered at his home.
The terrorist had been in German prison up until 2017, after being convicted of robbery in that country.
“After serving his sentence he was deported to France, where he was technically under surveillance,” said an investigating source.
“He had served previous prison sentences in France too, including two years in 2011 for stabbing a teenager. There had also been drug convictions. He was well known in Islamist circles in Strasbourg and for being further radicalised in prison.”
Soldiers patrolling the area as part of regular anti-terror operations exchanged fire with the suspect and wounded him, but could not stop the escape.
“We heard several shots, three perhaps, and we saw people running,” one witness told AFP.
“One of them fell down, I don’t know whether it was because she was tripped up or if she was hit,” the witness recalled.
Several areas close to the Christmas market were sealed off on Tuesday night and residents were warned to stay indoors.
A police source said security forces had opened fire in an area of the city where the suspect was thought to be hiding, but no address or whether the terrorist had been located was reported.
Several residents of the city have been detained in recent years for trying to reach jihadist groups in Syria, or have been arrested upon their return.
The Christmas market in Strasbourg and the city’s illuminations are an annual attraction that draws hundreds of thousands of people, but security has been increased after a series of horrific terror slaughters.
“In 2016, a 23-year-old Tunisian killed 12 and injured 48 others when he ploughed a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
“Special anti-terror army units have been deployed in Strasbourg, and soldiers and armed police are regularly seen patrolling among the 300 wooden Christmas market chalets.
“Three years after groups of jihadists gunned down and blew up 130 people in Paris on November 13, 2015, French counter-terror officials say their focus has shifted.
“Rather than coordinated attacks, their main concern is attacks by ‘lone wolves’ – self-radicalized individuals acting without links to terror groups such as Islamic State.”
A total of 246 people have been killed in terror attacks in France since 2015, according to recent counts, and many people wonder when the people of France will finally say ‘enough!’ to the multiculturalism that is literally killing them.
Just last week, an academic man was stabbed in broad daylight 13 times for ‘insulting’ Islam.