Abdouallakh Anzorov: A lonely jihadist emboldened by the networks | International

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March in memory of Professor Samuel Paty, on Tuesday afternoon in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (France).JULIEN DE ROSA / EFE

On a bordering street between two French municipalities, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and Éragny, in a middle-class residential neighborhood, little houses with gardens, neither rich nor poor, between the country and the city. Walking this weekend along the rue du Boisson Moineau and talking with the neighbors, who still could not understand what had just happened at their doorstep, it was difficult to imagine that this placid and provincial France, without apparent tensions or social nor ethnic, had been hours before the scene of a bloody terrorist attack, a beheading.

Abdouallakh Anzorov, a refugee of Chechen origin, cut off the head of Samuel Paty, a teacher who taught classes on freedom of expression at a neighboring school. Soon after, Anzorov confronted the police, who shot him dead.

Little is known about this jihadist: individual data from his biography released by the anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard or fragments collected by journalists in the Évreux neighborhood, 80 kilometers west of the place of beheading. It is known that he was born in Moscow in 2002. That he arrived with his parents in France at the age of six. That they obtained refugee status and that, upon reaching the age of majority last March, Abdouallakh Anzorov also acceded to this status. Their papers were valid until 2030.

The terrorist had not been to jail or been to Syria or Iraq. As far as it is known, he did not belong to any command or organization. Like the Pakistani who last September 25 attacked two people with a knife before the old newsroom of Charlie hebdo or the administrative agent of the police who killed four colleagues in the Paris Prefecture in 2019, Anzorov embodies a new kind of terrorist. It is what the expert Gilles Kepel calls in the newspaper Le Monde “An atmospheric jihadism”, between radical ideology and the victimizing manipulation that is boiling on social networks, far from the radars of the security forces.

His father worked, his mother almost never left the house, there were six siblings and the terrorist was the oldest, according to Le Parisien. The police files contained an act of violence and vandalism in adolescence, but he had no criminal record and was not on any list of suspected terrorists.

Between 2018 and 2019 he passed through Toulouse, where his uncle lived. There he went to a wrestling gym very frequented by the Chechen community, in which the love of this sport is rooted. “He attended three sessions because he was never on time. The coach told him that it was not worth coming, "he told Le Parisien Didier Brisot, President of the Occitania Regional Committee for Struggle and Associated Disciplines. At some point he returned to Évreux. "Before he had been involved in fights," a neighbor told the France Presse agency, "but he had calmed down and immersed himself in religion."

One bad day in early October, he heard that at the Collège du Bois-D'Aulne, a school in Conflants-Sainte-Honorine, a Muslim father had denounced a teacher for showing cartoons of Muhammad in his class. 13 year old daughter. The father's campaign, with the support of an Islamist preacher, caught on in Islamist networks. Anzorov contacted the father on WhatsApp, according to several French media published on Tuesday.

On October 16, Anzorov took action. He went to the door of the Collège du Bois-D’Aulne. He asked some students if they knew the teacher and offered them money in exchange for the information. In June, Abdouallakh Anzorov had opened an account on the social network Twitter with the name @ tchechene_270. After beheading Samuel Paty, in the placid and anodyne rue du Boisson Moineau, he spread from this account the photo of the corpse and a message addressed to the French president: “Macron, the leader of the infidels: I have executed one of your dogs of the hell that they have dared to lower Muhammad ”.


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