Strasbourg terror suspect Cherif C. is still on the run from police but new information has revealed that he has 27 prior criminal convictions and yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the attack which led to the death of two people, the brain death of another, and several injuries.
The new information was revealed Wednesday at a press conference by France’s anti-terror prosecutor Rémy Heitz who said that witnesses had observed the suspect yelling “Allahu Akbar” as he fired upon the crowd at the Strasbourg Christmas market on Tuesday evening, France24 reports.
According to French broadcaster BFMTV, the 29-year-old suspect, who was born in Strasbourg, has had a total of 27 prior criminal convictions including convictions for violent robbery, the earliest occurring when the suspect was only 10 years old.
Investigators have also said that the crimes did not occur in just France, noting he had also committed crimes in both Germany and Switzerland as well.
Following his last release from prison, the 29-year-old was placed on a terror watch list after it was believed that he had been radicalised while behind bars.
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Hours before the attack, the suspect’s house had been raided by police who found a hand grenade, a shotgun, and other weapons. Investigators now say that the 29-year-old had been a suspect in a prior attempted murder and that is what sparked the initial raid.
On Wednesday police arrested four men believed to be connected to Cherif C. and revealed that the terror suspect had used a taxi to flee the scene and had even bragged to the taxi driver that he had killed at least ten people.
The attack comes almost exactly two years after the Berlin Christmas attack that saw failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri ram a truck through the city’s market killing a dozen people and injuring dozens more.
Amri, like Cherif C., was known as a small-time criminal before the attack and was also known to have travelled in radical Islamic extremist circles.