Suspect in beheading of French teacher was Chechen teen; 5 more arrested

Suspect born in Moscow; detainees include parents of child at school where educator recently showed cartoons of Prophet Mohammed during class discussion on freedom of expression

By ELEONORE DERMY and STUART WILLIAMS

Police officers block the access after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in a French street on Friday and police have shot the suspected killer dead, Oct. 16, 2020 in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Police officers block the access after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in a French street on Friday and police have shot the suspected killer dead, Oct. 16, 2020 in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AFP) — The man suspected of beheading a French teacher who showed his students cartoons of the prophet Mohammed was an 18-year-old Chechen, a source said Saturday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called an “Islamist terror attack.”

The attack took place late Friday afternoon near the middle school where the teacher worked in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a northwestern suburb around 30 kilometers (20 miles) from central Paris.

The assailant was shot by police and later died of his injuries.

Police said the victim was a history teacher who recently showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a class discussion on freedom of expression that had prompted complaints from some parents.



French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in front of a high school in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was beheaded, October 16, 2020. (Abdulmonam Eassa, Pool via AP)<
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A judicial source told AFP on Saturday that five more people had been detained over the murder, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working, bringing to nine the total number currently under arrest.

According to the source, who asked not to be named, the two detained parents had signaled their disagreement with the teacher’s decision to show the cartoons.

The three other new people detained for questioning are members of the suspect’s social circle. The four previously detained are all relatives.

The attack came as a trial is in progress over the January 2015 massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published caricatures of the prophet that unleashed a wave of anger across the Islamic world.

The magazine had defiantly re-published the cartoons in the run-up to the trial’s opening in September and last month a young Pakistani wounded two people with a meat cleaver outside the magazine’s former offices.

In a tweet, Charlie Hebdo expressed its “sense of horror and revolt” at Friday’s attack.

‘Will not win’

Identification documents found on the suspect showed he was an 18-year-old born in Moscow but from Russia’s southern region of Chechnya.

The attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as police confronted him, a cry often heard in jihadist attacks, a police source said.

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the assault as “a murder linked to a terrorist organization.”



French police officers gather outside a high school after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris, October 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)<
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Police said they were investigating a tweet posted from an account that showed a picture of the teacher’s head, and which has since been shut down.

It was unclear whether the message, which contained a threat against Macron — describing him as “the leader of the infidels” — had been posted by the attacker, they said.

The killing bore the hallmarks of “an Islamist terrorist attack,” Macron said as he visited the scene.

Visibly moved, the president said that “the entire nation” stood ready to defend teachers and that “obscurantism will not win.”

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen expressed her condolences to the teacher’s family and the French people.

“My thoughts are also with teachers, in France and across Europe. Without them, there are no citizens. Without them, there is no democracy,” she tweeted in French.

‘Super friendly and kind’

At the school, parents and teachers alike paid tribute to the victim, who has not been officially named.

“According to my son, he was super nice, super friendly, super kind,” a parent, Nordine Chaouadi, told AFP.



A police car enters the perimeter after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris, October 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)<
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“I saw him [the teacher] today, he came to my class to see our teacher. It’s shocking that I won’t see him again,” said Tiago, a student in sixth grade.

The teacher “simply said to the Muslim children: ‘Leave, I don’t want it to hurt your feelings.’ That’s what my son told me,” said Chaouadi.

Police had arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a suspicious individual loitering near the school, a police source said.

They discovered the dead man and soon spotted the suspect, armed with a blade, who threatened the officers as they tried to arrest him.

They opened fire, severely injuring him, and he later died of the wounds.

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October 17, 2020 | 5 Comments » | 426 views

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Worth to know : the parents of one schoolgirl whose teacher was beheaded, were offended by a lesson in free speech in that school . During that lesson the teacher explained that the prophet Mohamed was seen by some as a divine creature , and by others as a mere human being . As that point he showed a caricature of the prophet by some Charlie Hebdo cartoonist . So the parents of a schoolgirl were offended and alerted via social medias a muslim brother activist Abdelhakim Sifriaoui . The parents provided this activist the photography and home adress of the teacher . Sifriaoui posted those informations on his websiste and called for revenge . Then the chechen killer went to ambush the teacher and beheaded him . The police shot the murderer on the spot . Now , the police has arrested the activist Sifriaoui and the parents of the ” offended ” girl . They should be charged with incitation to murder . Now who is Sifriaoui ? A Muslim Brotherhood activist, founder of a support group to Cheikh Yassin , Hamas group leader , and also a close associate of dieudonné , a black french stand-up comedian who attacked jews with vicious plays and slogans during his shows . The link between the Muslim Brother pro-hamas activist , the dieudonné antisemitic comedian, was also connected to a fringe extreme-right provocateur Alain Soral . So here we see a link between arab-muslim ( french according to their citizenship ) population and violent hate activist ( Dieudonné-Soral ) . That’ s a large chunk of the population : 15 % of france are muslims , of which one fifth will not obey french laws if they contradict their faith , according to opinion polls . We are speaking of 2 millions group . The eventual decision to indict the muslim bros.activist and the parents of the ” offended ” schoolgirl will be a test of french government resolve to contrast the phenomena .

  2. Isn’t it ironic that the major reason for France’s letting in all those Muslims was that the Europeans were so freaked out by the results of the Six Day War that Charles de Gaulle called a European conference in November 1967 (if I am not mistaken) where the basis was laid for the increasing “friendship and cooperation” with Arab countries.

  3. @ Reader:
    You are mistaken indeed ; Charles de Gaulle had nothing to do with that European conference in 1967 . It took place in Venezia in 1977 , at the European Union gathering of heads of State , under the leadership of french President Giscard d’ Estaing , a despicable pseudo-noble and a great admirer of the Arab civilisation . Giscard policy is still shaping the European Union foreign policy of hostility to israel until now .

  4. @ dinastar578@gmail.com:
    Well, I am not that far off and you are not correct:

    Economic Drain from Islamic Immigration, EU Muslim Demograhics, European Statistics, Muslims in Europe, Muslims WorldWide
    French ex-President Charles de Gaulle is the founding father of Eurabia
    October 3, 2012
    https://thejinnandtonic.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/french-ex-president-charles-de-gaulle-is-the-founding-father-of-eurabia/
    …During a November 27, 1967 press conference, Charles de Gaulle stated openly that French cooperation with the Arab world had become “the fundamental basis of our foreign policy.” Five years later in Paris, July 1974, the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation was created, under the Euro-Arab Dialogue rubric.
    The Euro-Arab political agenda constructed a common foreign policy. France was the driving force in this unification, which had already been envisaged by General de Gaulle’s inner circle and Arab politicians.
    The Arab states demanded from Europe European pressure on the United States to align with their Arab policy and demonization of Israel as a threat to world peace, as well as measures favorable to Arab immigration and dissemination of Islamic culture in Europe.
    Up to 1973 the Palestinians had been known only as Arab refugees, even by other Arabs. The concept of a Palestinian “nation” simply did not exist.
    While Charles de Gaulle imported millions of Arabs into Europe and bent backwards on their demands he didn’t make a single demand on Arabia for the same equality and rights to be issued to non-Muslims or Europeans on Arabian soil.

  5. @ dinastar578@gmail.com:
    More about de Gaulle and his freaking out after the Six Day War:

    https://thejinnandtonic.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/french-ex-president-charles-de-gaulle-is-the-founding-father-of-eurabia/
    …President de Gaulle pushed for a France and a Europe independent of the two superpowers. In a speech, he stated that “Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the destiny of the world.” In 1966, he withdrew France from the common NATO military command, but remained within the organization.

    Following the Six Days War in 1967, de Gaulle’s condemnation of the Israelis for their occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip marked a significant change in French foreign policy. Previously, France – as well as the rest of Western Europe – had been strongly pro-Israel, even going to war together with Israel as late as 1956 against Nasser’s Egypt. From 1967 on, however, France embarked on a decidedly pro-Arab course.

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