France’s Interior Minister has today confirmed that the man suspected of opening fire at a Christmas market has been shot dead. Cherif Chekatt killed three people and injured 13 in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday. Sputnik spoke about it to Robert Spencer, Director of Jihad Watch and Author of the History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS.
Sputnik: What does this latest attack mean for the people of Strasbourg and France as a whole?
Robert Spencer: What it constituted was a reminder that Macron is wrong when he considers climate change the worst problem that France faces. Recently we've seen the large-scale protests and riots against his climate change tax but this is a reminder that France faces other threats which may be even larger.
Sputnik: This is the most recent terror attack in the country after a series of high profile attacks occurred in different parts of the country. Does France have a problem with terrorism?
Robert Spencer: France has a very serious problem with terrorism. The French interior minister said yesterday that Cherif Chekatt, the Strasbourg murderer, was being watched in a relatively serious manner which means he wasn't being watched at all because obviously, he was able to carry out this attack and French authorities had gone to arrest him that day but couldn't find him. The French security forces have said that there are 12,000 people on their list for suspected Islamist views and 4,000 of those are considered problematic and they have said it would be impossible for them to keep an eye on them.
This is a very serious admission because the Islamic State, ISIS, published a pamphlet called ‘The Black Flag from Rome' detailing how they were going to conquer Europe and in it they said that they were going to overwhelm western intelligence services with so many plots and attacks they simply wouldn't be able to keep up. It said this, ‘as the western nations get poorer, their intelligence services will continue to exist but they simply won't have enough manpower to analyze it all'. This is exactly what we're seeing now in France.
Sputnik: What should we be seeing from the authorities to limit these attacks and ultimately protect bystanders and citizens as a whole?
Robert Spencer: We have to remember that Cherif Chekatt was born in France and raised in France and yet he was raised in an Islamic enclave where Islamic law is the de facto law of the area and French law is not only ignored but despised. The French authorities need to acknowledge the fact that there are such areas in France and enforce the idea that there is one law for all people and that if you want to live in France you must obey French law.
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