Strasbourg Christmas market attacker Cherif Chekatt 'supported ISIS', claims his own dad

Abdelkrim Chekatt told French television that murderous Chérif believed the Islamic terror group was “fighting for a just cause”.

The 29-year-old killed four people and seriously injured 12 others during his death spree on Tuesday night.

He escaped after hijacking a taxi but was cornered by French cops and shot dead in the Neudorf area of the city following a two-day manhunt.

His parents and two brothers were among seven arrested following the outrage, which sent shock waves throughout France.

Prosecutors in Paris say they were later released due to the lack of incriminating evidence against them.

Now Abdelkrim Chekatt has denied knowing his son – who he last saw just three days before the shootings – was plotting any kind of attack in his home city.

“He’d say, for example, that Daesh (ISIS) is fighting for a just cause,” he told France 2.

“I told him: ‘Forget about Daesh, don’t listen to what they say. Don’t you see the atrocities they commit? Beheadings, burning people alive.

“I always told him, ‘Daesh, they are criminals.’”

The father said he even went to copse of his own accord and on a suspicion the night of the son's rampage with a handgun and a knife.

He said he told police that "if ever you locate Cherif, tell me. I'll go to him and try to reason with him to give up."

He also said that if his son had told him about a project to kill "I would have denounced him, and he wouldn't have killed or been killed."

After he was shot, ISIS claimed responsibility for the atrocity saying he was one of their "soldiers", but provided no evidence for the claim.

The cops 'neutralised' suspected terrorist Chekatt after he was finally found less than two miles from where he carried out the mass shooting.

The Minister of the Interior reported a "specialised field brigade" spotted a man fitting Chekatt's description walking down Rue du Lazaret in the district of Neudorf.

When they challenged him, at 9pm local time tonight, he turned around and opened fire and they fired back "neutralising the assailant."

Security forces, including the elite Raid squad, spent hours Thursday searching in the Neudorf neighbourhood where Chekatt had grown up based on "supposition only" he might have been hiding in a building nearby, a French police official said.

There has been supposition that him being able to hide with his family in custody means there may be a wider network who helped keep him from authorities.

Reuters reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after armed police officers and units launched their operation, backed up by a helicopter circling overhead.

A local police official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity, said he was armed with a pistol and a knife.

The French National Police – who tweeted 'End of the hunt ' – thanked the public for their assistance in tracking down Chekatt, who was wanted "dead or alive."

French President Emmanuel Macron added: "Thanks to all the services mobilised, police, gendarmes and soldiers. Our commitment against terrorism is total."

France's Minister for the Interior Christophe Castaner later tweeted: "Proud of our policemen."

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries said police had acted on a tip off from a woman, but released no more details than that.

"I think it will help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal," he told reporters after news that Chekatt had been killed.

"With the death of this terrorist … citizens, like me, are relieved," he said.

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