Seven relatives of a suspected radical Islamist who beheaded a teacher in front students and bystanders in the street of a Paris suburb on Friday, and two parents of students at the school where the teacher worked, were detained for questioning this weekend.
Police shot and killed the suspected terrorist Friday after he allegedly beheaded a teacher for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in his history class.
The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Aboulakh A, was a Moscow-born Russian national of Chechen origin who had been granted a 10-year residency as a refugee in March 2020, according to The Sun.
His sister had joined the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria in 2014, according to French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, who spoke at a news briefing on Saturday. It was not clear where she is now, and Ricard did not share her name or any other details. He said, however, that a text claiming responsibility for the murder and a photograph of the victim were found on the suspect’s phone, Associated Press reported.
The history and geography teacher, 47-year-old Samuel Paty, had previously received death threats for showing Prophet Mohammed cartoons during a lesson on freedom of expression.
Aboulakh A asked students outside to point out the teacher who showed the caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in class, before beheading him in the street with a kitchen knife in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. He allegedly shouted Allahu Akbar while carrying out the slaughter.
He ran from the scene but was tracked down by French police and counter-terrorism personnel. He was shot and killed while confronting police with a pellet gun.
The suspect subsequently posted a photo of the decapitated head of the victim on Twitter, along with a French-language threat to all who would “insult” the prophet, Ricard told reporters in a news conference on Saturday, according to Reuters.
Ricard also said the headmaster of the school had received several threatening phone calls.
The case is being treated as a murder linked to a terrorist organization, Ricard added.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the school Friday night, and denounced the beheading as an “Islamist terrorist attack.
“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught…the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron said.
The presidential Elysee Palace said there will be a national ceremony set at a future date to pay homage to Paty.