It wouldn't be Christmas in Europe without Islamic terrorism.
A gunman on a security watchlist killed at least two people and wounded at least 11 others near the picturesque Christmas market in the historic French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday evening before fleeing.
Amid fast-moving, confusing scenes it was not clear if the suspect, identified by police as Strasbourg-born Chekatt Cherif, 29, had been cornered by commandos or had slipped the dragnet.
European Parliament lawmaker Emmanuel Maurel said he had heard the shots.
“From my hotel window I saw passers-by dragging someone who was injured and onlookers panicking,” he tweeted. “Soldiers and police have cordoned off the area. We’re being told to stay in the hotel.”
Some 26,000 individuals suspected of posing a security risk to France are on the “S File” watchlist, of whom about 10,000 are believed to have been radicalized, sometimes in fundamentalist Salafist Muslim mosques, online or abroad.
And that's a fraction of the potential terror whole.
This is the second major terror plot targeting the Christmas market in Strasbourg.
The Christmas Market has been held in Strasbourg, France for over four hundred years. A year before Al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center, European Muslims began scouting the site for a terrorist attack. Salim Boukari filmed the market, remarking at the people passing by outside the Strasbourg Cathedral. "Here are the enemies of Allah as they stroll about. You will go to hell, Allah willing."
If at first they don't succeed, they'll keep trying.