The 18-year-old who beheaded a history teacher outside the school in France where he taught asked students in the street to point out his victim before the gruesome slaying, a French prosecutor said Saturday.
The Russian-born attacker also posted a photograph of the teacher’s body on Twitter, accompanied by a message saying he had carried out the killing, anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said during a news conference, Reuters reported.
French police brought nine people in for questioning the suspected Islamist sympathizer killed the teacher, 47-year-old Samuel Paty, in broad daylight in a Paris suburb, in apparent retaliation for the use of a controversial image of the Prophet Mohammad in his classroom.
The Moscow-born Aboulakh A, who was of Chechen origin, according to The Sun, ran from the scene after killing Paty but was chased down and fatally shot when he confronted cops with a pellet gun.
Among the nine being questioned are the grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother of the attacker, The Associated Press reported. Two parents of students at the school where Paty taught were also brought in.
About 10 days ago, during a class discussion on freedom of expression, Paty, showed some cartoons of Mohammad published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo before the publication’s offices were stormed in 2015 by Al Qaeda-linked gunmen, who killed 12. A trial of 14 people charged as accomplices in that attack is underway.
Using the cartoons angered a number of Muslim parents, even though Paty allowed Muslim students to leave the classroom before showing them. Muslims believe any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous. At least one parent complained to the school, and Paty received days of threats, the BBC reported.
A week ago, a man who said his daughter was Paty’s student posted a video in which he called others to “join forces and say ‘stop, don’t touch our children.’” It’s not known whether that parent was being questioned, or if the attacker saw the video.
Saturday, heartbroken colleagues and students paid tribute to the popular teacher outside the school. Many carried white roses and signs that read, “Je Suis Enseignant,” meaning “I am a teacher.”
With Post wires