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Strasbourg shooting suspect fits familiar criminal-jihadist profile

Thursday - 13/12/2018 01:47
The Strasbourg shooting suspect was convicted multiple times for theft and violence and has been followed by the French intelligence services since 2015 after he showed signs of radicalisation in jail.
Vincent Kessler, REUTERS | French security officials patrol near the border with Germany Dec. 12, 2018.
Vincent Kessler, REUTERS | French security officials patrol near the border with Germany Dec. 12, 2018.

The subject of a massive, cross-border manhunt, the 29-year-old suspect in the deadly Strasbourg Christmas market shooting – identified as Chérif C. – is France's most wanted man today.

Long before he made the headlines for allegedly gunning down two people and wounding 14 others at the historic Christmas market, Chérif C. was a known quantity to police and the judicial system, France's anti-terrorism prosecutor Rémy Heitz said Wednesday.

The suspect has a long history of delinquency: his first encounter with the law was back in 1999 when he was only 10 years old. He has been convicted 27 times for crimes committed mostly in France but also in Germany and Switzerland. The convictions were "mainly for acts of theft and violence," Heitz said.

Imprisoned in Germany and Switzerland

According to the German press, Chérif C. was sentenced in Germany in 2016 to two years and three months in prison for aggravated theft. Expelled in 2017 to Switzerland, he then served a year-and-a-half in a Basel prison for burglary.

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