Terror at France’s Famous Christmas Festival


Credit to Patrick Seeger/EPA

Jordan Larrabee

On December 11 of this year, a man in the famous Christmas market place in Strasbourg, France, armed with a knife and a revolver shot and injured 14 people and killed two At the time of the writing three of the injured individuals have died, including the men who are being held as heroes for drastically reducing the possible casualties, bringing the death toll to five. This is the latest incident in a disturbing trend of violence in Europe from hate groups. The shooting was committed by the 29-year-old man Chérif Chekatt, an individual with a suspicious history and who was previously flagged down as a suspected terrorist by the French government. Security forces in France viewed him as a petty criminal turned jihadist through the preaching of radical Islam he was exposed to in prison, and therefore utilized the French system of “Fiche S,” or a security system that enables certain suspicious people to monitored while not detained.

At about 7:50 local time Chekatt made his way into the market and began firing shots into the crowd while also yelling, “Allahu akbar” repeatedly.                                                   

After moving throughout the event grounds, Chekatt eventually confronted police where they fired at each other. An officer was hit as well as Chekatt, however, he was still able to get away through a taxi, whose driver offered a statement crucial to the search for justice.

On December 13, Chekatt was located by a group of around 700 people, where another conflict broke out. This final conflict resulted in the shooting and death of Chekatt.

The incident is currently being used by those in favor of stricter immigration policies as support for their argument, such as the known Rassemblement National (strong right-wing views) party leader Marine Le Pen.