Paris Once again, France is shocked by an allegedly Islamist terrorist act: a teacher is brutally killed after discussing controversial Mohammed cartoons with his students. Arrests are made hours later.
After an alleged terrorist attack on a history teacher in a suburb of Paris, police arrested four people and later confirmed the arrest of five others. There are now nine people in custody.
One of them is a minor, said the prosecutor responsible for anti-terrorism investigations Jean-François Ricard on Friday evening. According to reports, those arrested are believed to be members of the alleged perpetrator’s family and others.
A man armed with a knife beheaded the teacher on the street in the parish of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. After the bloody act, the alleged perpetrator was shot by the police. Before his death, the teacher had discussed caricatures of the prophet Mohammed with his students and received threats, said an investigator who did not want to be named.
President Emmanuel Macron spoke of an “Islamist terrorist attack” and called on the nation to stand united against extremism. The anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office opened an investigation.
The victim taught his students that you have the freedom to believe or not to believe something, Macron said. The man was murdered for this. At the same time, the country should not allow itself to be divided by the act, because that is exactly what the extremists wanted to achieve. “We all have to stand together as citizens,” warned Macron.
According to French media reports, the alleged attacker is an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen. This was not initially confirmed by the police. Numerous Chechens have received asylum in France since the wars in the Russian republic in the 1990s and 2000s.
After the attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in north-west Paris, the suspect was shot dead in neighboring Eragny after behaving threateningly, a police investigator said. In addition to his knife, he had a soft gun with plastic bullets with him and refused to put down his gun.
In his class last week, the teacher initiated a debate on the Mohammed cartoons, which led to protests and attacks in large parts of the Islamic world. Another investigator said a parent of one of the students reported him. It was not clear whether the alleged perpetrator was connected to the school.
In January 2015, after the publication of controversial Mohammed cartoons, extremists attacked the Paris satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” and killed numerous members of the editorial team. The paper recently published such caricatures again. As a result, two people were stabbed but not critically injured in front of the magazine’s former office.
Here is the photo gallery: Teacher beheaded near Paris – terrorist suspicion in France
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