France launches terrorism probe after teacher killed in knife attack

In this news, we discuss the France launches terrorism probe after teacher killed in knife attack.

A man armed with a knife killed a college history teacher on Friday by slitting his throat outside his school in a Paris suburb, police said, in an attack that was being treated as terrorism. The assailant was shot dead by a police patrol a few blocks away. The teacher had shown students in his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, considered by Muslims as blasphemous, according to a police source.

The French counterterrorism prosecutor said he was investigating the attack, which took place in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a suburban suburb northwest of Paris. President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the scene on Friday evening. French channel BFMTV reported that the alleged attacker was 18 years old and born in Moscow.

The incident echoed the attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. He published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, triggering a problem that still casts a veil on French society. Less than a month ago, a man from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and injure two people who were on a cigarette break outside the offices where Charlie Hebdo was based at the time of the 2015 attack.

During Friday’s attack, a police source said witnesses heard the attacker shout “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is the greatest.” A police spokesperson said the information was being verified. Another police source also said the victim was beheaded in the attack, but this has not been confirmed. The attack took place in the street in front of the college where the victim worked.

“MONSTROSITY” “This evening, it is the Republic which is attacked by the contemptible assassination of one of its servants, a teacher”, wrote the French Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer on Twitter.

“Our unity and determination are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.” A Twitter The thread published on October 9 contained allegations that a history teacher at Conflans Sainte-Honorine had shown students cartoons claiming to represent the Prophet Muhammad.

The thread contained a video of a man who said his daughter, a Muslim, was one of the students in the class and that she was shocked and upset by the teacher’s actions. The man in the video urged Twitter users to complain to the authorities and have the teacher removed from their position. Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the video.

CRISIS CENTER French Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin said he had set up a crisis center to deal with Friday’s attack.

France has seen in recent years a series of violent attacks by Islamist militants, including the Charlie Hebdo killings in 2015, and bombings and shootings in November 2015 at the Bataclan theater and sites around Paris killed only 130 people. The issue of the cartoons was revived last month when Charlie Hebdo decided to repost them to coincide with the start of the trial of accomplices in the 2015 attack.

Al-Qaeda, the militant Islamist group that claimed responsibility for the killings, threatened to attack Charlie Hebdo again after reposting the cartoons. The magazine said last month that it published to assert his right to free speech and to show that he would not be intimidated by violent attacks. This position has been supported by many leading French politicians and public figures.

Reacting to Friday’s attack in front of the school, Charlie Hebdo wrote on his Twitter report: “Intolerance has crossed a new threshold and does not seem to give rise to anything by imposing its terror on our country.”

News Highlights:

  • France launches terrorism investigation after teacher dies in knife attack
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