In the trial surrounding the terrorist attack during the Strasbourg Christmas market more than five years ago, a jury in Paris sentenced one of the perpetrators’ aides to 30 years in prison. By procuring weapons, the 42-year-old main defendant helped the perpetrator, whose Islamist radicalization was known to him, to implement his terrorist plans, the court ruled.

The court sentenced two other defendants, who also helped procure weapons without knowing about the attack plans, to prison terms of four and five years. Another was acquitted. Five people were killed and eleven others injured in the attack in 2018. An appeal against the verdicts is still possible.

On the evening of December 11, 2018, the Islamist Chérif Chekatt attacked people with a firearm and a large knife in alleys and squares in the Alsace metropolis of Strasbourg. He initially managed to escape in a taxi. Two days later, he was killed in a shootout with officers in Strasbourg after a major manhunt in the Franco-German border area.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack

The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Chekatt had sworn his loyalty to IS in a video. The attacker, who has multiple criminal records and has North African roots, is said to have become radicalized in prison and was known to the authorities as an Islamist threat.

Just hours before the attack, weapons were found during a search of his apartment – including grenades and knives. The police wanted to arrest the 29-year-old for attempted murder, but the man was not at home. His father informed him that the police were approaching – then Chekatt apparently decided to carry out his planned attack that same evening.

In addition to the killed and injured victims, a large number of direct eyewitnesses were also severely traumatized. Around 1,000 people took advantage of mental health services after the attack, and many are still receiving treatment.