For the second time in three weeks, terror struck France, this time with the grotesque beheading of a historical past trainer in a avenue in a Paris suburb. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist assault” and urged the nation to face united in opposition to extremism. The trainer had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad together with his class, authorities mentioned.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for homicide with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
Macron visited the college the place the trainer labored within the city of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with workers after the slaying. An Related Press reporter noticed three ambulances arrive on the scene, and closely armed police surrounding the world and police vans lining leafy close by streets.
“One in all our compatriots was murdered right now as a result of he taught … the liberty of expression, the liberty to imagine or not imagine,” Macron mentioned.
He mentioned the assault shouldn’t divide France as a result of that’s what the extremists need. “We should stand all collectively as residents,” he mentioned.
The incident got here as Macron’s authorities works on a invoice to handle Islamist radicals who authorities declare are making a parallel society exterior the values of the French Republic. France has the biggest Muslim inhabitants in Western Europe with as much as 5 million members, and Islam is the nation’s No. 2 faith.
The killing of the trainer occurred in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine whereas the fleeing suspect was killed by police in adjoining Eragny.
A police official mentioned the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot useless about 600 meters (yards) from the place the male trainer was killed after he failed to reply to orders to place down his arms, and acted in a threatening method.
The trainer had obtained threats after opening a dialogue “for a debate” in regards to the caricatures about 10 days in the past, the police official informed The Related Press. The father or mother of a scholar had filed a grievance in opposition to the trainer, one other police official mentioned, including that the suspected killer didn’t have a toddler on the faculty.
An ID card was discovered on the scene of the suspect, however police have been verifying the identification, the police official mentioned. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That data couldn’t be instantly confirmed.
France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen neighborhood in latest months, within the Dijon area, the Mediterranean metropolis of Good, and the western city of Saint-Dizier, believed linked to native felony exercise.
It was not identified what hyperlink, if any, the attacker may need with the trainer or whether or not he had accomplices. Police have been fanning out on searches of properties and potential household and mates of the person in query, French media reported — a “traditional” state of affairs in a terrorism case, the police official mentioned.
The 2 officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t approved to debate ongoing investigations.
“We didn’t see this coming,” Conflans resident Remi Inform, who as a toddler had attended the Bois D’Aulne center faculty, mentioned on CNews TV station. He described the city as peaceable.
It was the second terrorism-related incident for the reason that opening of an ongoing trial on the newsroom bloodbath in Jan. 2015 on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of caricatures of the prophet of Islam.
Because the trial began, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the best of freedom of expression. Rapidly, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing two folks with a meat cleaver exterior the newspaper’s former workplaces. They didn’t endure threatening accidents. The 18-year-old informed police he was upset in regards to the publication of the caricatures.
In a video posted just lately on social media, a person describing himself as a father on the faculty mentioned the trainer who was slain had just lately proven an offensive picture of a person and informed college students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.” Earlier than displaying the pictures, the trainer requested Muslim kids to depart the room as a result of he deliberate to indicate one thing stunning, the person mentioned.
“What was the message he needed to ship these kids? … Why does a historical past trainer behave this fashion in entrance of 13-year-olds?” the person requested. He referred to as on different offended dad and mom to contact him, and relay the message.