A suspect shot lifeless by police after the grotesque beheading of a historical past instructor in an assault close to Paris was an 18-year-old Chechen, officers mentioned Saturday.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s workplace mentioned that authorities investigating the horrific killing of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday have additionally arrested 9 suspects, together with the grandfather, dad and mom and 17-year-old brother of the attacker.
Paty had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad together with his class, resulting in threats and a criticism from a guardian, police officers mentioned. Islam prohibits pictures of the prophet, contemplating that they result in idolatry. The officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t licensed to debate ongoing investigations.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for homicide with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
French leaders supplied messages of unhappiness but in addition of hope within the hours after the drama.
“We’ll choose ourselves up collectively, due to our spirit of solidarity,” mentioned Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, at a information convention Saturday.
“We’re all affected, all touched by this vile assassination,” mentioned Schooling Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in a video message.
A police official mentioned the suspect in Friday’s assault armed was shot lifeless about 600 meters (yards) from the place Paty died. He was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — and police opened hearth after he failed to reply to orders to place down his arms, and acted in a threatening method. The official additionally couldn’t be named due to the continuing investigations.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived shortly on the faculty on Friday night time to denounce what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist assault.” He urged the nation to face united towards extremism.
“One in every of our compatriots was murdered at the moment as a result of he taught … the liberty of expression, the liberty to consider or not consider,” Macron mentioned.
The presidential Elysee Palace introduced Saturday that there might be a nationwide ceremony on a future date in homage to Paty, about whom few particulars have to date emerged.
In a video posted just lately on Twitter, a person describing himself as the daddy of a pupil claimed that Paty had proven a picture of a unadorned man and advised college students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.”
Earlier than displaying the pictures, the instructor requested Muslim kids to boost their hand and go away the room as a result of he deliberate to point out one thing surprising, the person mentioned. The AP has not been capable of independently verify these claims.
“What was the message he wished to ship these kids? What is that this hate?” the person requested.
Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim Russian republic within the North Caucasus. Two wars within the 1990s triggered a wave of emigration, with many Chechens heading for western Europe. France has supplied asylum to many Chechens because the Russian army waged struggle towards Islamist separatists in Chechnya within the 1990s and early 2000s.
France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen group in latest months, believed linked to native legal exercise and score-settling.
It’s the second time in three weeks that terror has struck France linked to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Final month, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after attacking two folks with a meat cleaver outdoors the previous workplaces of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The weekly was the goal of a lethal newsroom assault in 2015, and it republished caricatures of the prophet this month to underscore the precise to freedom of knowledge as a trial opened linked to that assault.
Friday’s terror assault got here as Macron’s authorities works on a invoice to deal with Islamic radicals, who authorities declare are making a parallel society outdoors the values of the French Republic.