Posted at 5:12 PM ET on October 16, 2020 |
A teacher who opened a discussion with students about caricatures of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was beheaded.
PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” on a history teacher beheaded in a Paris suburb on Friday, calling on the nation to stand united against extremism.
The teacher discussed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said. The suspected attacker was shot dead by police after being beheaded on Friday.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor has launched an investigation into a murder with an alleged terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s office said.
Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the city of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with staff after the murder. An Associated Press reporter saw three ambulances arrive at the scene, heavily armed police surrounding the area and police vans lined with leafy nearby streets.
“One of our compatriots was killed today because he teaches … freedom of expression, freedom to believe or not to believe,” Macron said.
He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. “We need to stand together as citizens,” he said.
The gruesome murder of the teacher took place in the city of Conflans-Saint-Honorine, while the suspect was killed by the police next to Erani.
A police officer said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun – firing plastic pellets – was shot about 600 meters (yards) from where the male teacher was killed after failing to comply with orders to drop his weapons. , and acted in a threatening manner.
The teacher received threats after opening a “debate” discussion about the cartoons about 10 days ago, the police officer told the Associated Press. A student’s parent has filed a complaint against the teacher, another police officer said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at school. The identity of the suspect has not been made public.
The identity of the suspect has not been made public. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen born in Moscow. This information cannot be confirmed immediately.
The two officials could not be named as they were not authorized to discuss ongoing investigations.
“We didn’t see that come,” Conflans resident Remy Tell told CNews. He described the city as calm.
This was the second terrorism-related incident since the opening of an ongoing carnage trial at the editorial office in January 2015 in the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet of Islam.
When the trial began, the newspaper republished cartoons of the prophet to emphasize the right to freedom of expression. Exactly three weeks ago, a young man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing in front of the former offices of the newspaper two people who received non-life-threatening injuries. The 18-year-old told police he was upset by the publication of the cartoons.
The incident happened when Macron’s government was working on a bill to appeal to Islamist radicals, whom authorities say are creating a parallel society outside the values of the French Republic.
In the United States, according to a report by the Washington – based Center for Strategic and International Studies, right – wing extremists are responsible for more than 76% of terrorist attacks and conspiracies in 2019; 90% in the first half of 2020
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