Thursday, October 22, 2020

Suspect Stalked French Faculty Earlier than Beheading Instructor, Officers Say

PARIS — The suspect within the beheading of a history teacher in a Paris suburb was an 18-year-old immigrant of Chechen descent who was angered by the classroom show of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, French officers mentioned on Saturday.

The suspect, recognized by the authorities as Abdoulakh A., stalked the realm exterior the varsity on Friday afternoon earlier than following the instructor, whom he stabbed and decapitated with a knife, Jean-François Ricard, the highest antiterrorism prosecutor, mentioned at a information convention.

“The person was in entrance of the school within the afternoon and requested college students to point the long run sufferer to him,’’ Mr. Ricard mentioned, referring to the center faculty the place the instructor had taught. The suspect was fatally shot by the police in a confrontation quickly after the killing.

Investigators discovered a message planning the assault on the suspect’s cellphone, written a number of hours earlier than, Mr. Ricard mentioned. Then, shortly earlier than he was killed by the police, the suspect uploaded {a photograph} of the sufferer to Twitter, he added.

The ugly killing gave the impression to be the fruits of a few weeks of rigidity on the faculty, School du Bois-d’Aulne, in a quiet, middle-class suburb north of Paris. Muslim dad and mom upset over the classroom show of two caricatures printed by the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo had contacted faculty and police officers, however movies uploaded on social media by one father widened the dispute to an outdoor viewers.

Investigators have been nonetheless attempting to piece collectively how the suspect spent his days earlier than the assault, Mr. Ricard mentioned. However the suspect didn’t seem to have any direct ties to the varsity or to have been beforehand concerned within the dispute.

Born in Moscow, the suspect lived in France with the standing of a refugee, Mr. Ricard mentioned, including that he was not recognized to antiterrorism officers.

The brutal killing was the second violent episode inside weeks to be linked to the caricatures printed by Charlie Hebdo, which had led to lethal assaults in Paris in 2015. Final month, because the trial of accomplices within the 2015 assault received underway, the journal republished the drawings — an act that was seen as a daring assertion within the title of freedom of expression by some however as reckless and pointless provocation by others.

Final month, a 25-year-old Pakistani immigrant attacked two people exterior the previous workplaces of Charlie Hebdo, apparently angered after watching movies exhibiting protests in Pakistan towards the republication of the cartoons.

Past its brutality, Friday’s killing hit a far larger nerve in France as President Emmanuel Macron and different prime authorities officers rushed to the scene on Friday night.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of nationwide training, mentioned that in Friday’s killing, it was “the republic that was attacked.’’ France mentioned a ceremony could be organized to pay nationwide homage to the slain instructor.

The minister’s phrases mirrored the central function performed by France’s public faculties — hewing to a nationwide curriculum established by the central authorities — in instilling civic values and a nationwide identification. However additionally they underscored the recurring tensions between France’s conventional republican values and people of newer arrivals, particularly these of Muslim religion who oppose the publication of the caricatures.

The tensions at School du Bois-d’Aulne emerged early this month because the instructor — who was 47 and, in keeping with dad and mom and college students, had taught on the faculty for under few years — broached the subject of freedom of expression.

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