The teen terrorist who stabbed a Jewish teacher in France Monday told police he was “acting for ‘Da’esh’ (ISIS),” French prosecutor Brice Robin told international news reporters.
The attacker, who turns 16 next week, was an ethnic Kurd from Turkey who appeared not to be aware that Da’esh is no friend to the Kurds in Turkey and Syria. The two sides are fierce enemies and constantly fight deadly battles.
The suspect “has the profile of someone who was radicalized on the Internet,” said Robin at an afternoon news briefing. He is charged with “attempted murder on grounds of religion” and “defense of terrorism.” The teen terrorist stabbed the 35-year-old teacher outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille as he was heading to work at the nearby Franco-Hebraic Institute.
The attack took place in the ninth arrondissement district, a well-known neighborhood that is highly populated with hareidi Jews.
The victim was stabbed with a machete in the shoulder from behind, and then chased by his attacker until apparently both of them fell. The teacher fought off the terrorist, using his arms and legs in addition to the religious text he was carrying, but was stabbed in the hand.
The attacker then fled. He was caught by the neighborhood Anti-Crime Brigade about ten minutes later.
“It seemed clear he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam,” Robin told journalists at an afternoon news conference. He clearly understood the goals of Da’esh, however: the young terrorist-in-training told investigators that he would arm himself and kill police as soon as he is released.
Robin added that the young terrorist’s family was unaware of their son’s radicalization and believed he was a “good student.”
As for his attack on a Jewish teacher, however, Robin acknowledged, “It appears there was a form of premeditation,” with intent to kill his victim due to his faith.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was far more blunt, and addressed the obvious anti-Semitism with considerable vigor. In a tweet posted to the Twitter social network, Valls wrote: “The anti-Semitic aggression against a teacher in Marseille is revolting.”
French President Francois Hollande said authorities will fight “with the greatest firmness against anti-Semitism and racism.” He called the attack “unspeakable and unjustifiable.”