The school had received threats – VG


PARIS (VG) A teacher has been killed in what is being called a beheading in a Paris suburb. The teacher had shown cartoons of Muhammad in class, French police say according to French media.

The suspected perpetrator is a Chechen and was born in Moscow, said Jean-François Ricard, head of prosecution for anti-terrorism during a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

According to the prosecution, the school where the history teacher Samuel Paty worked had previously received several threats.

The perpetrator is said to have posted pictures of the victim on social media after the attack. According to the prosecution, he asked students at the school to point out the teacher in question.

At a press conference on Saturday, the French Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer confirmed that it was the teacher Samuel Paty who was found dead.

Relatives arrested

On Saturday night, four people were arrested in connection with the murder.

One of the detainees is said to be a minor, reports AFP at 01:00 on Saturday night. They do not cite named sources in the French judiciary.

The four are said to be related to the suspected perpetrator, who was shot and killed by the police, writes NTB.

On Saturday morning, the news came that five new people have been arrested, writes AFP. No information has yet been received about their connection to the murder.

KILLED: French Foreign Minister confirms that 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty has been killed. The photo was uploaded to the teacher’s Flickr account in 2018. Photo: Private

According to FranceInfo, the 47-year-old teacher had received threats after showing the students the caricatures a week ago.

According to French media, he was a history and geography teacher, and showed caricatures in connection with an hour on freedom of expression.

According to the news agency AP, the teacher must have received a complaint from a parent of one of the students. The suspected perpetrator apparently does not have a direct connection to the school itself, according to a police source.

– One of our fellow citizens was killed today because he taught about freedom of speech, the freedom to believe and not to believe. He was cowardly attacked and was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack, says French President Emmanuel Macron, according to the newspaper Le Figaro.

Macron on Friday condemned the attack on the teacher, and said that the attack should not divide the country.

– Tonight I want to say to all the teachers in France that we are with them, that the whole nation will be there by their side today, tomorrow, to protect them, to defend them, to let them do their job.

He says Islamist terrorists will not win.

– France will respond quickly and with authority, he says.

The suspect was shot and killed

AFP and several French newspapers reported just after 6.30 pm on Friday night that a man had been beheaded in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. The attack happened around 5pm near a school.

French media write that the police tried to stop a man with a knife who behaved threateningly near where the body was found. According to Le Parisien, the man tried to escape and refused to lay down his weapon. He was then shot and killed by police.

The perpetrator is an 18-year-old Russian man of Chechen origin, writes AFP.

The area was cordoned off, and a bomb squad was called because the police feared that there might be explosives in the area where the perpetrator was shot.

Terrorism investigation underway

France’s anti-terrorism unit PNAT is investigating the incident, writes Reuters. Police say they are investigating the incident as “a murder linked to a terrorist organization”, according to several news agencies.

Macron was at the scene

President Emmanuel Macron was at the scene Friday night, according to Le Figaro. He previously participated in an emergency meeting on the matter in the Ministry of the Interior.

The National Assembly has condemned what they call “a heinous attack”.

Education Minister Blanquer says in a video posted on the ministry’s Twitter account at 12 o’clock on Saturday that the killing is an attack on all teachers and urges to stand together:

– This teacher was killed because of what he represented: the Republic. He was killed because of what he embodied: Knowledge and critical thinking, that is, in the building of free and enlightened citizens. That is at the heart of what we do in schools. He was killed for giving an hour of freedom of speech. It is a heinous and cowardly act. It is an attack on the republic, because the school is the backbone of the republic, he says in the video.

On Saturday morning, Erna Solberg also posted a condemnation of the attack on Twitter:

Charlie Hebdo: – Shaken and upset

The attack comes at the same time as a trial is underway in the wake of the terrorist attack on the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, in which twelve people were killed.

The reason Charlie Hebdo became the target of the attack was that the satire magazine had printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad several times.

On Twitter, the satire magazine expresses its deepest sympathy with the family, loved ones and all the teachers at the school. They write that they are “shaken and upset” that a teacher has been murdered by a “religious fanatic”.

– Intolerance has just crossed a new threshold and does not seem to stop for anything to inflict terror on our country. Only through political power and solidarity for all will we defeat this fascist ideology, they write in the same Twitter thread.

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