We informed you a few hours ago that conspiracy theories had started to appear all over social media in France in the past few days, claiming that the terrorist manhunt near Strasbourg would be used by the French government to try and supress the planned ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow vests) demonstrations.
Rather than supressing any rumour, the government of President Macron has now indeed explicitly asked the movement to stop demonstration this Saturday out of respect for the police having to focus on the manhunt for the Islamic extremist and secondly, out of respect for the victims of this week’s attack.
It was French Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux who said it most clearly on CNews this morning, in a tone unheard of in French media: "It does not matter if we get him dead or alive, as long as we find him as soon as possible."
Related coverage: France – Conspiracy Theories Surround Strasbourg Terrorism
The north-east of France is completely locked down, just like yesterday. Trains, highways and border crossings are closed and checked in the manhunt for the terrorist who shot two people the day before yesterday, made a victim brain dead and put six people in mortal danger. There are more than 700 police officers helping with the investigation.
French authorities distributed a poster of the terrorist this morning and called on witnesses to come forward.
The poster states that the man is ‘armed and dangerous’ and calls on the French not to intervene. Anyone who knows where Mr Chekatt is staying is called to contact the authorities.
France has now reached the highest level of security. The perpetrator is seen as a major threat. The Strasbourg-born shooter with a North African background was radicalized and probably carries a firearm and a knife.
It is questionable whether he is still in France which is why Germany and Switzerland are also looking for the man. Because the soldiers guarding the Xmas market are certain they shot the man in the arm, it is also possible that he may still be staying close to Strasbourg.
According to government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, it does not matter how terrorist Cheriff Chekatt is found, as long as it happens as quickly as possible. It is unknown whether the police forces were instructed to shoot Chekatt on sight.
Witnesses to the shooting, which took place around 8 pm on Tuesday evening at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg, reported that the perpetrator shouted loudly the words 'Allahu Akbar' before he fired the shots. According to the mayor of Strasbourg, it is therefore also clear that Chekatt acted on a terrorist motive.
According to his neighbors, it was not obvious upon seeing the man that he had been radicalized. "He did not wear Islamic clothing, he was mostly in training suit," an anonymous neighbour declared.
However, Chekatt's photographs show that he has a so-called prayer spot, a bruise on his forehead caused by the many Islamic prayers.
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