Teacher beheaded, suspect killed
PARIS — A history teacher who opened a discussion with high school students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was beheaded on a French street on Friday and police fatally shot the suspected killer, authorities said.
The French antiterrorism prosecutor opened an investigation into murder with a suspected terrorist motive, authorities said.
The gruesome killing of the teacher occurred in the town of ConflansSainteHonorine while the suspect was killed by police in adjoining Eragny. The towns are located in the Val d’Oise region northwest of Paris.
A police official said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot dead about 600 yards from where the male teacher was killed after the suspect failed to respond to orders to put down his arms, and acted in a threatening manner.
The teacher had received threats after opening a discussion “for a debate” about the caricatures, a police official told the Associated Press. The parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at the school. French media reported the suspect was an 18yearold Chechen.
It was the second terrorismrelated incident since the opening of a trial in the newsroom massacre in 2015 at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of caricatures of the prophet of Islam.
As the trial opened, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the right of freedom of expression. Three weeks ago, a young man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing two people outside the newspaper’s former offices. They suffered nonlifethreatening injuries. The 18yearold told police he was upset about the publication of the caricatures.
The incident came as President Emmanuel Macron’s government is working on a bill to address Islamist radicals who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside the values of the French Republic.