A gunman who attacked a Christmas market in France this month acted on behalf of the Islamic State, according to a published report.
On Dec. 11, Chérif Chekatt, armed with a gun and a knife, attacked a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg.
At least five people have died from their injuries, while about 10 were injured, according to the BBC.
Chekatt was later killed in a shootout with police. Several sources have now indicated he had ties to the Islamic State, CNN reported Saturday.
“A video in which Chérif Chekatt pledged allegiance to ISIS was found on a USB key,” CNN reported that it was told by a judicial source.
Since then a USB belonging to the attacker Cherif Chekatt has been found.
The USB contained a video of the attacker pledging allegiance to Isis. pic.twitter.com/JzkbMxthJh
— E.G.I.S. (@EXEINTEL) December 23, 2018
The BBC’s report in the incident quoted a witness as saying Chekatt screamed “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) when he began the attack.
A man suspected of supplying the gun used in the French Christmas market shooting that killed five people in Strasbourg this month faces terror charges, according to a French judicial official. https://t.co/lpTNDS0THL pic.twitter.com/TyIgmcfWfx
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) December 18, 2018
Officials have said that Chekatt was on French authorities’ watch lists due to his radical beliefs and 27 criminal convictions in France, Germany and Switzerland, according to the U.K. Independent.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the Islamic State group had said Chekatt was a “soldier” of the terrorist organization.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had called that claim “totally opportunistic.”
Father of Cherif Chekatt, the Strasbourg shooter, confirms son was a fan of ISIS. Defended terror group and said they were “on the right path.” https://t.co/VEpVBDsCmW
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) December 15, 2018
Chekatt’s father, Abdelkrim Chekatt, has said he son believed in the Islamic State’s cause, The Associated Press reported.
“He’d say, for example, that Daesh, fights for the just cause and all that,” the attacker’s father said, using a name of the Islamic State group often used by Europeans and in the Middle East.
He said he tried to dissuade his son from following the Islamic State group.
“You don’t see the atrocities they commit,” he said he told his son, who would reply that the Islamic State group did not commit atrocities.
He said that if he had known what his son was planning, “I would have denounced him, and he wouldn’t have killed or been killed.”
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