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French teacher’s killer had ‘contact’ with jihadist in Syria

Seven people have been charged for being complicit in the murder.  

The investigation into the murder of a French teacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class turned to Syria on Thursday, where the killer had a jihadist contact, a source close to the case said.

Seven people have been charged with being complicit in a “terrorist murder” after 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov beheaded Samuel Paty on the outskirts of Paris on Friday, including two teenagers who helped him identify the teacher.

Emmanuel Macron promises more pressure on Islamist extremism

France paid homage to Paty on Wednesday, with President Emmanuel Macron saying that the history and geography teacher had been slain by “cowards” for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.

“Islamists want to take our future,” Mr. Macron said. “They will never have it.”

In their search for accomplices, anti-terror investigators have now established that Anzorov had contact with a Russian-speaking jihadist in Syria whose identity is not yet known, the source told AFP.

Traced to Idlib

Le Parisien newspaper reported on Thursday that Anzorov’s suspected contact had been located through an IP address traced back to Idlib, a jihadist holdout in northwestern Syria.

 

In an audio message in Russian immediately after the killing, translated by AFP, Anzorov said that he had “avenged the Prophet” whom the teacher had shown “in an insulting way”.

In the recording, which contains several references to the Koran as well as to the Islamic State group, he also said: “Brothers, pray that Allah accepts me as a martyr.”

The message was published on social media in a video, accompanied by two tweets, one showing the victim’s severed head and another in which Anzorov confessed to the murder.

Moments later, he was shot dead by the police.

Many of Paty’s students saw the images online before they could be taken down.

The teenagers who pointed out Paty to his killer in return for €300-350 ($356-$414) were charged late on Wednesday. The parent of one of Paty’s students, who started the social media campaign against the teacher, was also charged.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 2:09:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/french-teachers-killer-had-contact-with-jihadist-in-syria/article32932638.ece

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