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France. Student father exchanged text messages and phone calls with murderer of beheaded teacher

Authorities investigating the death of Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded on Friday near the high school where he taught outside Paris, discovered several text messages and phone calls between a student’s father and the murderer. The information was released Tuesday by French radio Europe 1, which cites police sources.

The father posted his phone number on Facebook along with a video in which he called for Paty’s dismissal after he showed two cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in a class.

The authorities also announced the closure of a well-known mosque following the professor’s murder. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin clarified that the mosque in Pantin will be closed this Wednesday and will remain behind closed doors for six months.

The decision was made pending a police investigation of networks suspected of promoting extremist religious beliefs, spreading hatred and encouraging violence.

Investigators in the case believe that several students indicated who the teacher was to the jiadista who beheaded him on Friday next to the school where he worked. The students will have done so in exchange for money.

A source close to the investigation, cited by the newspaper “The Guardian”, revealed that the mosque, which has about 1,500 worshipers, posted a video on Facebook about Paty days before the history and geography professor was killed at the age of 47. The video violently criticized the professor’s decision to show his students two caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, along with other illustrations, as part of a debate on freedom of expression.

Muslim students were allowed to leave the room if they felt uncomfortable

The teacher gave Muslim students the possibility to leave the classroom in case they feel uncomfortable.

The French Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said that, in the national tribute that will be made this Wednesday at Sorbonne University, Paty will be posthumously decorated with the Legion of Honor, the highest official distinction in the country. The professor will also be named a member of the Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes Académiques), added the minister.

In an interview with the television channel BFMTV, Blanquer clarified that “there are elements” that suggest the possibility that the teacher was appointed by several students, four of whom were detained. A fifth student was eventually released without charge.

If proving to be true, the students’ involvement is “very serious” and demonstrates “the penetration among the youngsters of a certain worldview”, that of “fundamentalist Islamism”, through social networks and certain organizations, pointed out the minister .

A “counteroffensive of the Republic” is underway, says Minister of Education

The professor was stabbed and beheaded outside the high school where he taught at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 30 kilometers from the French capital. Abdouallakh Anzorov, the 18-year-old murderer of Chechen origin, had refugee status in the country, like other members of his family. Anzorov ended up killed by the police.

The first elements of the investigation suggest that a controversy was created through messages posted on social networks by some parents of school students. In particular, the father of a student published an accusatory video and launched a campaign against the teacher, with which he called for the punishment of the teacher.

On November 2, on the return of the autumn school holidays, all schools in France will observe a minute’s silence in memory of Paty and students who do not respect him will be sanctioned. Blanquer stressed that a French “counteroffensive of the Republic” is underway.

At least 15 people, including the four students, are being held and being interrogated by anti-terrorism authorities to try to establish a link between these suspects and the murderer.

The murder took place at 5 pm local time (4 pm in Lisbon) on Friday, near the high school of Bois d’Aulne.

Macron announces dissolution of Islamist organization

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassine group, founded by one of those arrested for the attack and known for his extremist statements. During a brief intervention, Macron said that Wednesday’s Council of Ministers would approve the measure.

The head of state added that the lawsuits and security forces are going intensify against associations and individuals that promote a radical integrative project.

It’s in progress a strategy, Macron insisted, adding that citizens have to be defended, including those of muslim religion, which should also be defended from radical Islam.

The Sheikh Yassine organization was founded in 2004 as an entity in favor of the Palestinians and its name evokes the founder of Hamas, Ahmed Yassine, assassinated by Israel that year. But its current notoriety in France stems more from its anti-Semitic and Islamist rhetoric.

Its founder is Abdelhakim Sefrioui, one of those arrested for Paty’s beheading. Sefrioui went, with the father of a student, to demand that the school principal dismiss the teacher and released a video asking for reprisals against the teacher, classified as bandit.

News updated at 21h27.

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