Two teenagers will face charges in the beheading last week of a history teacher outside of Paris – for allegedly reporting the educator to his killer in exchange for money, said Wednesday the terrorism prosecutor.
The teens – aged 14 and 15 – were among a group of students who were offered between $ 355 and $ 415 by the attacker to identify 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty, according to the state prosecutor. Republic Jean-François Ricard.
“The investigation established that the author knew the name of the teacher, the name of the school and his address, but he did not have the means to identify him,” said the prosecutor.
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“This identification was only possible with the help of students from the same school.”
The two teenagers were said to have been on the lookout for the killer – an 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdulakh Anzorov – for more than two hours, Ricard said.
They stuck with the Russian-born striker even after he told them he wanted to “humiliate and hit” Paty for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class, which Anzorov considered insulting, added the prosecutor.
Anzorov beheaded Paty with a long knife as the educator returned from high school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 40 km northwest of Paris, authorities said.
He then posted an image of the severed head of the teacher on Twitter before he was shot by police.
The two teenagers are among seven people who will face prosecution for “conspiracy to commit terrorist murder,” Ricard said.
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The others include the father of one of Paty’s students, who launched a social media campaign targeting the teacher on the cartoons – and exchanged messages with Anzorov over WhatsApp in the days leading up to the murder, said said the prosecutor.
A well-known radical Islamist who helped the father in his campaign will also be prosecuted, as will three friends of Anzorov, including one who allegedly took him to the scene of the crime and another who went with him to buy a weapon.
The massacre sparked massive protests in France and a swift crackdown on radical Islamic groups by the authorities.
President Emmanuel Macron presented France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor, to Paty on Wednesday in a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne University in Paris, Agence France-Presse reported.
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He declared that the educator had been killed by “cowards” for representing the secular and democratic values of the French Republic – and swore: “We will not give up the cartoons”.
“He was killed because the Islamists want our future,” Macron said. “They’ll never get it.”
This report originally appeared in the New York Post.