A French teacher was beheaded by an Islamist in a Paris suburb on Friday for discussing Muhammad caricatures with his class. The knife-wielding attacker, identified as an 18-year-old immigrant, shouted “Allahu Akbar” at the scene of the gruesome killing, media reports say. The jihadi was shot dead after he charged at the police following the gruesome killing. 

The middle school teacher is said to have shown the caricatures from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to his pupils as part of a discussion on free speech. Considering the religious sentiments of his Muslim students, he even urged them to leave the class. This, apparently, did not save his life. 

French media reports identified the attacker as an 18-year-old immigrant from Chechnya, a Muslim-majority region in Russia. “France has offered asylum to many Chechens since the Russian military waged war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s, and there are Chechen communities scattered around France,” the Associated Presse explained. In recent years, several deadly jihad attacks in France have been carried out by migrant men granted asylum by the country.

French news agency AFP reported the horrific killing: 

A French teacher who had recently shown students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was beheaded outside his school on Friday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called an “Islamist terrorist attack”.

The assailant, whose identity has not been established, was shot by police as they tried to arrest him and later died of his injuries, police said.

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

France has seen a wave of Islamist violence since the 2015 terror attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in the capital.

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

The attack happened on the outskirts of Paris at around 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) near the middle school where the teacher worked in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a northwestern suburb around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the city centre.

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

Local news reports suggest involvement of an Islamic terrorist group in the beheading. “French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the incident as “a murder linked to a terrorist organization” and related to a “criminal association with terrorists,” German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle confirmed. Since Europe opened its borders to migrants in 2015, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility for several Islamic terror attack in Paris and other French cities. 

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the teacher’s beheading as an Islamist terrorist attack. “One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron said during his visit the suburb. “We must stand all together as citizens.” French education minister on Twitter called for “unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.” 

The attack took place in the backdrop of the Charlie Hebdo trial which began last month. Fourteen suspects have been brought before a Paris court on charges of plotting the January 2015 attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket.

Days after opening of the trial, a Pakistani migrant went of a stabbing spree outside the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, seriously injuring two passersby. The jihadi entered France “three years ago while still a minor and had showed no risk of radicalisation,” a French news outlet claimed.  

France opens terror probe after teacher beheaded in Paris suburb’

 

 
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