A schoolteacher was decapitated by a teen in broad daylight in Paris, France, after he recently showed controversial caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed to his students, according to multiple French media outlets. Moments later, the police shot the suspect. The victim's body was found in Éragny-sur-Oise, northwest of the French capital, according to the French National Anti-Terror Prosecutor's office.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident. The 18-year-old killer's identity hasn't been revealed and his connection to the school wasn't immediately clear. French President Emmanuel Macron visited the scene, calling the killing an "Islamist terrorist attack".
The history teacher had allegedly showed his students cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad in the nude. This had probably angered the teen. The attacker followed the victim on the streets and then all of a sudden beheaded him with a sharp knife and walked away.
Immediately after beheading the teacher, the attacker claimed responsibility. He even shared an image of the victim on Twitter, according to police. Later, Twitter removed the gory photo of the severed head. The attacker then confronted cops who by that time had responded to the scene.
According to police, the knife-wielding teen was also carrying an air-gun rifle at that time and was shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, as the officers opened fire, killing him. Authorities haven't released the name of the attacker as investigation is still on. The only information available is that the teen was a Moscow-born ethnic Chechen, and while he was not on the French terror watch list, he was known to police for his record of petty crime.
Terrorism Grips France
The victim was a teacher at a secondary school in the region of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and has been identified as Samuel P, according to the prosecutor's office. The teacher recently showed his students a range of controversial caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed from the magazine Charlie Hebdo during a class debate on freedom of expression, Le Monde reported.
In fact, according to the news outlet, some Muslim parents complained to the school about the murdered teacher's decision to use one or more of the cartoons as part of a discussion about the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The murder, according to authorities, was for this reason only.
Macron has strongly condemned the attack and said that the teacher got murdered as he was teaching the students freedom of speech, the freedom for believing and not believing. The brutal killing and beheading of the teacher comes as a trial continues relating to a series of January 2015 terrorist attacks which began with a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices following the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
In 2015, 12 people were killed when Islamist terrorists attacked the magazine's offices over its caricatures of the Muslim prophet. Also, last month, another jihadist used a meat cleaver to attack and injure two people outside the magazine's former offices.