In connection with Friday's murder of a high school history teacher in the suburbs of Paris, French police have taken into custody four people, one of whom is a minor. The detainees are family members of the attacker who was shot by the police. The AFP agency informed about it with reference to a court source.
The attacker allegedly cut off the victims’ head in the suburb of Conflans-Saint-Honorine, northwest of the center of the French capital. Police are investigating it as a terrorist attack. Reuters reports that one of the witnesses heard the attacker shout Allah akbar (Arabic God is great).
According to several French media, the victim of the attack is a 47-year-old high school history teacher who recently lectured to students about freedom of speech and showed them cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The attack was condemned by French politicians led by President Emmanuel Macron, who said it was an attack on freedom of speech backed by Islamic terrorism.
Upon arrival at the scene, Macron stated that the attacker had targeted freedom of expression. “A citizen was murdered today because he was a teacher and because he taught freedom of speech,” the president said, adding that it was Islamic terrorism. “The whole country stands behind its teachers. The darkness and the violence that accompanies it will not win. The terrorists will not divide us. That is what they are striving for, and we must stick together,” he added.
According to Franceinfo, the attacker was an 18-year-old man. He allegedly published a photo of the crime scene on Twitter. BMFTV said he was born in Moscow. According to the station, he had not previously entered the security forces’ search engine.
The suspect fled after the act, and the police caught up with him in the neighboring suburb of Éragna. According to the media, the man had a knife or other cold weapon and tried to attack the police. They shot him. Éragna Mayor Thibault Humbert told BFMTV that the attacker succumbed to a gunshot wound. Pyrotechnicians were called to the scene to see if the man had any explosives.
As a terrorist act, the French police are also investigating the September attack on the street, which once housed the editorial board of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A man from Pakistan stabbed two people there who went out of work to take a smoking break. In early September, the weekly Charlie Hebdo reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which were first published in 2005 by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. He did so on the occasion of the beginning of the trial with 14 people who are accused of involvement in the assassination of the magazine’s editorial office in 2015. The assassins, the Kouachi brothers, killed 12 people at the time.
The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was followed by a series of assassinations in France, in which 258 people died, according to AFP.