France remains in shock and anger over beheading of history teacher
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – 09:17 UTC
French police carried out a series of raids targeting extremist networks, three days after the beheading of a history teacher who showed his students a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin has vowed there will not be a minute’s respite for enemies of the Republic, after tens of thousands of people took part in rallies across the country on Sunday to honor Professor Samuel Paty and defend freedom of expression.
A silent rally was scheduled for Tuesday evening, as well as a ceremony Wednesday at the Sorbonne in the presence of President Emmanuel Macron.
Fifteen people have been arrested so far, including four students who may have helped the killer – an 18-year-old of Chechen descent killed by police – identify the teacher for payment.
The police carried out 40 raids on Monday, mainly around Paris, and many more are planned.
“We want to harass and destabilize this movement in a very determined way, ?? a ministry source said.
Darmanin said the government will also tighten its grip on institutions and charities suspected of having links with extremist networks.
Paty, 47, was assaulted on his way home from high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40 km north-west of Paris.
A witness, who gave only his first name Stéphane to the LCI news channel, said he was nearby when the ?? barbaric ?? the attack occurred, taking shelter with her children.
?? We didn’t know what was going on. There was just a beheaded man in front of our house, ?? he said, adding that he then saw the assailant take pictures.
A photo of the teacher and a message confessing to his murder were found on the cell phone of his killer Abdullakh Anzorov, who arrived in France with his family from the predominantly Muslim Russian region of Chechnya more than ten years ago.
Four members of the murderer’s family were among the detainees.
Officials have named two groups they would target for closure – the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France which says it monitors attacks against Muslims, and BarakaCity, which describes itself as a humanitarian organization.