The perpetrator of the beheading of a French teacher near Paris on Friday was an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin. He was a recognized refugee in France, the anti-terrorist attorney confirmed at a press conference. Nine people have already been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack. The victim is 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty.
In Conflans Saint-Honorine, a suburb of Paris, a man was beheaded in the street around 5 pm on Friday. It was said to be a history teacher who had recently taught free speech, showing caricatures of the prophet Mohammed. The perpetrator used a kitchen knife and is said to have called ‘Allah Akbar’ at the time of the murder. According to French President Emmanuel Macron, this is “a clearly Islamist-inspired terror attack”. (Read more below the video)
Shortly after the murder someone posted a photo of the crime scene on Twitter with the message: “To marcon (sic), the leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hellhounds who dared to belittle Muhammad. ” That account was taken offline not much later. In the meantime, it was confirmed that it was the perpetrator who posted that message.
Immediately after the murder, the perpetrator was shot dead several hundred meters further by the police, in the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise. The police had already been called because a suspected individual was rummaging around a school. He threatened bystanders, and the police opened fire several times. The perpetrator rushed to the police just before his death and shot them five times. Three officers fired back, after which the man tried to get up and attack the officers with another knife. Afterwards, he was killed, he sustained nine bullet wounds.
It was an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin, born in the Russian capital Moscow, a source in the French court said and this was later confirmed by the authorities. Abdoulakh A. was known to the authorities, but had a clean criminal record. He was also not known as someone who was radicalized. According to the anti-terrorism attorney, the man was a recognized refugee legally in the country. He received a residence permit on March 4, 2020, which is valid until March 2030. The man lived in Evreux, in Normandy.
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The man is said to have stopped in front of the school in the early afternoon and asked students to appoint the teacher. A draft version of a demand notice was found on his phone, as well as a photo of the victim. The teacher was on his way home when the culprit, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, attacked him. The victim suffered several injuries to the upper body and head and was found decapitated. A bloody knife was found near the scene of the crime.
On Friday evening, four people were already arrested in connection with the case, on Saturday another five people were arrested. This includes the parents of a student of the victim. In addition, three people from the perpetrator’s family circle were arrested.
Complaint filed against teacher
The victim, according to the French press, is 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty. The statements of support are pouring in on social media. According to a source close to the investigation, a parent had complained a week ago against the teacher for showing the cartoons in question in class. A few days later, the man himself filed a complaint for slander. According to a parent of a student, the teacher told the Muslim children in the class to leave the class because he did not want to hurt their feelings.
The Elysée also announced on Saturday that there will be a national tribute for the Pay, in collaboration with the family. The date has yet to be set. At the school, parents and teachers paid tribute to the victim with flowers.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex already wrote on Twitter that “our teachers will continue to stimulate the critical spirit of the citizens of the Republic, freeing them from all totalitarianisms and obscurantisms.” And European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen expressed her condolences on Saturday to all teachers “in France and all over Europe”. “Without them there are no civilians. Without them there is no democracy, ”she writes on Twitter.