The Washington Times reports that French Senior Interior Ministry official Laurent Nunez says 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt was monitored by authorities since 2015, when he was released from prison after having been radicalized.
Nunez also said that Chekatt was supposed to be arrested yesterday morning prior to his attack in relation to an attempted murder however, he was not home when authorities arrived.
The shooter, who shouted Allahu Akbar as he attacked innocent shoppers, has a long criminal record, having served prison time for robberies in Germany, France, and Switzerland over the years.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been hunting down the killer, who–according to officials–may have crossed into Germany.
The Times reports:
Many of Europe’s deadliest terror attacks in recent years have taken place in France. In response to Tuesday’s shooting, the government decided to take the country’s attack risk up a level on the official threat index and to send security reinforcements to Strasbourg, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in Strasbourg. Some 350 officers and two helicopters were searching for the assailant after Tuesday’s drama, which involved shooting in multiple neighborhoods of Strasbourg, authorities said. The assailant confronted law enforcement officers twice, exchanging fire, while he “sowed terror,” Castaner said. The shooter was shot and wounded by soldiers guarding the Christmas market, according to Stephane Morisse of police union FGP Police.