A year after the terror attack at the Christmas market in Strasbourg, police have arrested two Chechens at the market for making signs of allegiance to the Islamic State.
The men allegedly took selfies at the market with their index fingers pointed to the sky, a gesture often used by Islamic State members to represent Allah as the one true god. The acts were witnessed by police who then arrested the suspects, broadcaster RTL reports.
Police confirmed they charged the pair with apologising for terrorism, saying that one of the men lived in Strasbourg while the other lived outside of the Alsace region.
“We are doing checks but they are not clearly known in the Alsatian place for links with the Islamist movement,” police said.
‘Allah hu Akbar!’: Migrant Males Arrested at Two German Christmas Markets After Violence https://t.co/7BSqUmDCTn
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 4, 2018
The Christmas market has seen a boost in police presence this year following the deadly attack in 2018 by the radical Islamic terrorist Chérif Chekatt, who went on a rampage armed with a pistol and a knife killing five people and wounding 11 others.
Malek Chekatt, the brother of Chérif, was also later arrested after he threatened to commit his own terror attack, posting a picture of several firearms on social media and stating his target would be the broadcaster BFM.
Christmas markets across Europe have been seen as targets for radical Islamic terrorists for several years following the Berlin Christmas market attack by Tunisian fake asylum seeker Anis Amri in 2016, which saw a dozen people killed.
In 2018, the British government went as far as issuing travel warnings to Britons thinking of visiting Christmas markets in Germany, France, and other European countries, stating: “There is a general threat from terrorism.”
“There may be increased security in place over the Christmas and New Year period, including at Christmas markets and other major events that might attract large crowds. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities,” the statement added.
Brother of Strasbourg Terrorist Convicted for Threatening Attacks https://t.co/kttUuvdSGj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 5, 2019