According to a police source, the victim, a history teacher at the Bois-d’Aulne college in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, had recently shown his students caricatures of Mohammed in progress.
The national anti-terrorism prosecution announced to AFP that it immediately seized the investigation, opened for “assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”.
The investigations were entrusted to the Antiterrorist Sub-Directorate (Sdat) of the police and to the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI).
The attacker of the history professor beheaded Friday in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, in the Paris region, near a college shouted “Allah Akbar” before being killed by the police, AFP has learned from a source close to the investigation. The teacher had recently shown his students caricatures of Muhammad during a course on freedom of expression, according to a police source.
Investigators are interested in a message posted on Twitter by an account now closed and which shows in particular a photo of the victim’s head. They are looking to see if it was posted by the abuser or someone else.
Under this photo, a message threatens Emmanuel Macron, “the leader of the infidels”, and its author claims to want to avenge the one “who dared to belittle Muhammad”.
The facts took place around 5:00 p.m., near a school, according to a police source.
Police officers from the Conflans Sainte-Honorine anti-crime squad were called in for a suspicious individual prowling around a school, according to this source.
On the spot, the police discovered the victim and, 200 meters further on in Eragny, they tried to stop a man with a stabbing weapon which threatened them and fired at him.
The alleged attacker, whose identity was not immediately established, is deceased, a judicial source said.
A security perimeter was installed and the demining service called, due to a suspicion of an explosive vest.
Emmanuel Macron visited the site
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, traveling to Morocco, immediately returned to Paris and opened a crisis unit “in connection with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister”, he tweeted.
Emmanuel Macron went to the Bois d’Aulne college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) on Friday evening, where the decapitated history teacher was teaching in the afternoon, an attack that aroused fear within the political world. The Head of State, accompanied by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, and the Minister for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, and then joined by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, must discuss with the school’s teachers, before making a statement.
“Obscurantism and the violence which accompanies it will not win”, hammered Friday Emmanuel Macron, while going to Conflans-Saine-Honorine (Yvelines), where a teacher was beheaded in the afternoon, “a characterized Islamist terrorist attack “, according to the French head of state.
“We will all unite. They will not pass. They will not divide us. This is what they are looking for and we must all stand together”, added the French president in a short speech, after s ‘to be interviewed for nearly an hour with the teachers of the Bois d’Aulne college, where the victim taught. “One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, because he advocated freedom of speech, the freedom to believe and not to believe in students. Our compatriot was cowardly attacked, a was the victim of a characterized Islamist terrorist attack “, argued the President of the Republic, visibly moved and tense, twisting his mask in his hands. “Obscurantism and the violence that accompanies it will not win, they will not divide us. This is what they are looking for and we must all stand together”, added Emmanuel Macron, who called “the whole of our compatriots to stand together, to be united, because we are first and foremost citizens united by the same values, a story: this unity is essential “. The President of the Republic also greeted “all the teachers of France”, affirming “that we are with them, that the whole nation will be there, by their side, today and tomorrow, to protect and defend them, allow them to do their job which is the most beautiful there is: to make free citizens “. “There is no coincidence that this evening, it is a teacher that this terrorist killed, because he wanted to bring down the Republic in its values, the Enlightenment, the possibility of making our children, d ‘wherever they come from, whether they believe or not, whatever their religion, to make them free citizens.
Previously, the Head of State had gone to the crisis unit set up at the Ministry of the Interior, where he was joined by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, who immediately canceled a trip scheduled for Saturday concerning the fight against poverty. The Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, was also there.
“It is the Republic which is attacked” with “the despicable assassination of one of its servants”, published on Twitter the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. “Our unity and our firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism. We will face it,” he added.
Sarah El Haïry, Secretary of State for Youth, denounced the death of a professor “for teaching freedom of expression”. “The Nation is in mourning. We will not give in to terror, we will fight it with all our strength. My thoughts are with the family and all the hussars of the Republic”, she added.
The attack sparked many political reactions: “unbearable barbarism” for the president of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, “ignoble crime” for the leader of LFI Jean-Luc-Mélenchon and “absolute horror” according to the number one of LREM , Stanislas Guerini.
Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on the front line during the series of attacks that hit France in 2015, considered that “an additional step (had) been taken by Islamist fundamentalism”.
“Big speeches must give way to big decisions against Islamist terrorism,” for his part urged LR boss Christian Jacob, 15 days after Emmanuel Macron’s firm speech on separatism which must be followed by a bill in December.
At the National Assembly, in an atmosphere full of emotion, the deputies rose to denounce a “terrible attack”.
Very affected, the chairman of the meeting Hugues Renson (LREM) spoke just before the interruption of the debates at 8:00 p.m. “We learned with horror of the abominable attack that occurred. On behalf of the national representation, on behalf of all of us, I would like to salute the memory of the victim,” he stressed.
This attack comes three weeks to the day after the chopper attack perpetrated by a 25-year-old Pakistani in front of the former Charlie Hebdo premises, which left two seriously injured.
The perpetrator of this Islamist attack told investigators that he acted in reaction to the republication by Charlie Hebdo at the beginning of September of the cartoons of Mohammed, which had made the satirical weekly a target of the jihadists in January 2015.
This republication took place at the opening last month of the trial of the January 2015 attacks, which is to be held until November 10. In reaction, thousands of demonstrators had protested in several cities of Pakistan against Charlie Hebdo and France.
Al Qaeda had also threatened to attack again the editorial staff of the satirical weekly.
“It is the republication of the cartoons rather than the trial that played in the aggravation of the threats”, recently explained to AFP a security source. “The will to strike the West is intact”, but “between those who are deceased, those who are imprisoned”, the capacity of action of terrorist groups is “very reduced”, she added.
Since the wave of unprecedented jihadist attacks that began in 2015 in France, which killed 258 people, several stabbing attacks have been carried out, in particular at the Paris police headquarters in October 2019 or in Romans-sur-Isère. last April.
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