France: Police crackdown after beheading of teacher
History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin, who was shot dead by police.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 04:56 IST
French police on Monday raided Islamic associations and foreigners suspected of extremist religious beliefs, police sources said, three days after a suspected Islamist beheaded a school teacher.
History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin, who was shot dead by police.
The assassin sought to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression to 13-year-olds.
Public figures called the killing an attack on French values.
Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said there were some 80 investigations being conducted into online hate and that he was looking into whether to disband about 50 associations within the Muslim community.
“Police operations have taken place and more will follow, concerning tens of individuals,” the minister told Europe 1.
A police source said France was preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watch list and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, among whom about 150 are serving jail sentences.
French authorities said they detained 11 people following the killing. Darmanin said they include the father of a student and an Islamist activist who along with the attacker “obviously launched a fatwa”, or religious ruling, against the teacher.
A judicial source told Reuters the man known to the intelligence agencies was Moroccan-born Abdelhakim Sefriuoi.
French President Emmanuel Macron held a defence council on Sunday at the Elysee presidential palace. The government will reinforce security at schools when classes resume on November 2, Macron’s office said.