Tributes and gatherings in France in the aftermath of the terrorist attack

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Radio-Canada

Dozens of students and parents have followed one another to lay flowers at the foot of the gates of the Bois d'Aulne college, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the day after an "Islamist terrorist attack", according to the French authorities, who stunned the country.

A national tribute will be organized by the Élysée with the family of Samuel Paty, beheaded yesterday in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, a city in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, at the end of the college – secondary school in France – where he was professor of history and geography.

Sunday, a rally is planned at the Place de la République, in Paris.

The perpetrator, born in 2002 in Moscow and of Chechen descent, had refugee status.

He was not known to the intelligence services for radicalization, but he was known to the police for common law offenses and he had never been convicted.

At a press conference, the anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard clarified that a message of demands published on Twitter just after the murder, making the link with Muhammad, indeed emanated from this individual. The investigations were able to confirm that it was indeed an account belonging to the perpetrator., did he declare.

Citizens and elected officials gathered in front of the Bois d'Aulne college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Citizens and elected officials gathered in front of the Bois d'Aulne college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Photo: Reuters / CHARLES PLATIAU

According to the elements unveiled by the magistrate, Samuel Paty had organized with his students a debate, planned as part of civic education classes, during which he showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. He then suggested to the students who wished not to look at certain drawings.

The magistrate also confirmed that nine people were in police custody, including the father of a student, who took to task the professor on social networks.

He clarified that the half-sister of this man had joined the organization Islamic State in 2014 in Syria and that she is as such the subject of a search warrant by an anti-terrorism investigating judge.

A psychological unit was set up at the college in Bois d´Aulne, where Samuel Paty taught.

This attack is the second terrorist act committed since the start of the trial of the accomplices of the assailants in the January 2015 attacks against the satirical newspaper Charlie hebdo, during which 12 people were killed, in retaliation for the publication of these same cartoons.

Three weeks ago, a Pakistani national attacked two people with a chopper on rue Nicolas-Appert, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, where the editorial staff of the satirical weekly was located during the killing.

Flowers, a candle, and messages on which we can read “I am a teacher”.

Calls for the defense of freedom of expression have been launched in France.

Photo: Reuters / CHARLES PLATIAU

An opaque community

The great vagueness surrounding the Chechen community, from which the alleged perpetrator is said to come from, is an additional difficulty, explains political scientist Asiem El Difraoui, a specialist in jihadism, quoted by Reuters.

We do not really know what is happening in the Chechen diaspora, because there are few people who speak the language in the intelligence services. It is a community which has a very clan and patriarchal structure and which has long been bathed in an atmosphere of violence due to the repression it has suffered., he says.

This problem has been neglected for too long, regrets the political scientist, recalling that the author of the knife attack which left one dead and four injured in May 2018 near the Paris Opera was also a 20-year-old Chechen without judicial history, but radicalized.

According to figures from French intelligence, included in a report from the Terrorism Analysis Center, <q data-attributes = "{" lang ": {" value ":" fr "," label ":" Français "}, "value": {"html": "7at 8% of French people involved in jihadist channels to Syria and Iraq (inclined, supporters or combatants in the area) are of Chechen origin "," text ":" 7 to 8% of French people involved in jihadist channels to Syria and Iraq (faint-hearted, supporters or combatants in the area) are of Chechen origin "}}" lang = "fr”>7 to 8% of French people involved in jihadist networks to Syria and Iraq (inclined, supporters or combatants in the area) are of Chechen origin.

Since the wave of jihadist attacks in France began in 2015, 259 people have been killed.

Read also :

  • Professor beheaded in terrorist attack north of Paris
  • Charlie hebdo : opening in Paris of the historic trial of the January 2015 attacks
  • "We will never give up": Charlie hebdo republishes Muhammad cartoons
With information from The world, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse


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