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French history teacher Samuel Paty. Photo: Flickr

French history teacher beheaded after showing class Mohammed cartoons

On Friday afternoon, a young man of Chechen origin Abdoullakh A, born in 2002, beheaded a French history teacher in public in broad daylight. The attacker was shot dead by the police in Eragny, France. The anti-terrorism prosecution has taken over the investigation.

Published: October 17, 2020, 8:23 am

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    Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

    Three weeks to the day after the terrorist attack in front of the former premises of Charlie Hebdo, which left two seriously injured, a teacher was beheaded with a knife by a Muslim believer who shouted Allah Akbar.

    Samuel Paty was found beheaded near a college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) at around 5 pm,  police sources told le Parisien. It all started about ten days ago with a debate on secularism organized by the professor, in his class at the Bois d’Aulne college.

    The horrific discovery was made by BAC (anti-crime brigade) police officers from Conflans after having spotted a suspect in the possession of a kitchen knife earlier. It seems that the suspect pointed a gun at municipal police officers before fleeing in the direction of the neighboring town of Eragny (Val-d’Oise).

    After being knocked down, officials ordered the assailant to put down his weapon but he refused by being very aggressive. The suspect was then shot and pronounced dead.

    The assailant, who was not listed on the notorious S-file but was known to the police for common law offenses, is said to be a young man of Chechen origin born 2002 and not an Algerian born in 1972, as initially announced.

    He was carrying a knife, and a rifle was found beside him. He reportedly posted a grisly video of the victim’s severed head before being shot. Investigators from the police had raised doubts about the existence of an explosive device on the body of the assailant. His death was captured on video and tweeted.

    According to initial information from the investigation, the decapitated victim was a history professor at the Conflans-Saint-Honorine college. Magistrates of the national anti-terrorism prosecution, including the prosecutor Jean-François Ricard, went to the scene of the “murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise and criminal terrorist association”.

    The investigations were entrusted to the anti-terrorism sub-directorate (Sdat) and the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI).

    According to sources, the victim had recently given a lesson to his students on freedom of expression and had shown the caricatures of Mohammed. “This professor, Samuel Paty, knew he was being threatened with death on social networks following his course on freedom of expression,” reported a member of a college student parents association.

    Marine Le Pen, the president of the National Rally also reacted: “A professor beheaded for having presented the Charlie Hebdo cartoons: We are, in France, at this level of unbearable barbarism. Islamism is waging a war on us: it is by force that we must drive it out of our country.”

    Damien Rieu, the parliamentary assistant to MEP Philippe Olivier, elected to the list of the National Rally, said the Council of Imams of France were directly responsible for the beheading and should resign. “I accuse the Council of Imams of France of being directly responsible for the cabal against Professor Paty that led to his beheading. This organization must be dissolved, its members arrested.”

    Four people, including a minor, were taken into police custody. These people come from the family circle of the assailant, Ouest France reported.

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