The killer who decapitated a teacher in France for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a classroom had been in contact with a Russian-speaking jihadist in Syria, a source close to the case said today.
Seven people have been charged with complicity after 18-year-old Chechen Abdullah Anzorov killed Samuel Paty on 16 October, including two teenagers who helped him identify the teacher.
The identity of the jihadi in Syria has not yet been established, the source told news agency AFP.
Le Parisien newspaper reported today that the presumed contact of the killer had been located through an IP address traced back to Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria.
Meanwhile, the man known as “Putin’s attack dog”, Daily Beast reported, had spent years promoting a violent response to the publication of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. When a teenager from a Chechen family beheaded a school teacher in France on Friday for sharing these images with his class, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-backed ruler of Chechnya, took to social media to lecture France about its “unacceptable attitude to Islamic values.”
Kadyrov has worked hard to make the French controversy a cause célèbre in the Muslim-majority region of Russia, said Daily Beast. He gathered hundreds of thousands of Chechens for an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, just a few days after terrorists killed 12 and injured 11 people at the satirical newspaper’s office in January 2015. That was the biggest rally ever seen in the Northern Caucasus. With a white vest on, Kadyrov spoke to a crowd of about a million people, calling on Muslims to rise against those who “deliberately kindle the fire of religious hostility.”
France rises against killer cult
Sympathy for the teacher and condemnation for the killer came pouring in from all quarters. Subsequently, police arrested nine people related to Abdullah (including his grandfather and 17-year-old brother) or related to students of the school where Paty taught in connection with the crime.
The French President Emmanuel Macron called the beheading “an act of Islamist terrorism.”
“This was an attempt to strike down the republic,” the president said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jean Castex said, “Secularism, the backbone of the French Republic, was targeted in this vile act.”
Thousands of people rallied in Paris and other French cities on Sunday in a show of solidarity and defiance following the beheading of a teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.