Father of Strasbourg attacker says son supported ISIS
Abdelkarim Chekatt says he tried to convince shooter to not back terrorist group
The father of the suspect who opened fire on a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg last week has said his son was a supporter of ISIS.
State-run television station France 2 broadcast an interview with Abdelkarim Chekatt, the father of Cherif, late on Saturday in which he said he had tried to convince him against backing the group.
It came two days after his son was killed in a shootout with police in his childhood neighbourhood in the eastern French city after he killed four people and wounded dozens more.
His death was the culmination of a large manhunt across eastern France and its shared border with Germany.
Mr Chekatt, a French-Algerian, said he saw his son three days before the attack. He also said that he had told him not to believe the group’s propaganda, saying the group was committing awful atrocities in the Middle East.
“He’d say, for example, that Daesh, fights for the just cause and all that,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
ISIS tried to claim Chekatt as one of its “soldiers” but French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it opportunistic.
French authorities held Mr Chekatt, his ex-wife and mother of the shooter, and two siblings after the attack. They were all released.
The gunman had been on a French watchlist and had a long history of petty crime.
Updated: December 16, 2018 06:28 PM