A suspect shot lifeless by police after the grotesque beheading of a historical past instructor in an assault close to Paris was an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee, officers mentioned Saturday.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s workplace mentioned authorities investigating the killing of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday additionally arrested 9 suspects, together with the teen’s grandfather, dad and mom and 17-year-old brother.

Paty had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad together with his class, resulting in threats and a criticism from a mum or dad, police officers mentioned. Islam prohibits pictures of the prophet, asserting that they result in idolatry. The officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t licensed to debate ongoing investigations.

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard mentioned an investigation for homicide with a suspected terrorist motive had been opened. 

Ricard instructed reporters that the suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March and was not identified to intelligence providers, had been armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.   

Police on the scene of the crime the place a person was discovered decapitated close to the Bois D’Aulne center college.

Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The prosecutor mentioned a textual content claiming accountability and {a photograph} of the sufferer have been discovered on the suspect’s cellphone. Ricard mentioned the suspect had been seen on the college asking college students in regards to the instructor, and the headmaster had acquired a number of threatening cellphone calls.

French leaders provided messages of unhappiness but in addition of hope after the killing.

“We’ll pick ourselves up together, thanks to our spirit of solidarity,” mentioned Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

“We are all affected, all touched by this vile assassination,” mentioned Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in a video message.

Mourners marched close to the varsity in solidarity, holding indicators that learn “I am a teacher.” 

A person raises an indication studying “I am a teacher” amongst folks demonstrating in Rennes, western France on October 17, 2020, someday after a instructor was beheaded by an attacker who was shot lifeless by policemen in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 30kms northwest of Paris. 

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP by way of Getty Images

A police official mentioned the suspect was shot lifeless about 600 meters (yards) from the place Paty died. Police opened fireplace after he failed to reply to orders to place down his arms and acted in a threatening method. The official couldn’t be named due to the continuing investigations.

French President Emmanuel Macron went to the varsity on Friday evening to denounce what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist attack.” He urged the nation to face united in opposition to extremism.

“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron mentioned.

The presidential Elysee Palace introduced Saturday that there will probably be a nationwide ceremony at a future date in homage to Paty, about whom few particulars have to date emerged.

In a video posted lately on Twitter, a person describing himself as the daddy of a pupil asserted that Paty had proven a picture of a unadorned man and instructed college students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.”

Before displaying the photographs, the instructor requested Muslim kids to lift their palms and go away the room as a result of he deliberate to point out one thing surprising, the person mentioned. “What was the message he wanted to send these children? What is this hate?” the person requested. The AP has not been in a position to independently verify these claims.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim Russian republic in the North Caucasus. Two wars in the Nineteen Nineties triggered a wave of emigration, with many Chechens heading for western Europe. France has provided asylum to many Chechens for the reason that Russian army waged warfare in opposition to Islamist separatists in Chechnya in the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s.

France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen group in latest months, believed linked to native prison exercise and score-settling.

This is the second time in three weeks that terror has struck France linked to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Last month, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after attacking two folks with a meat cleaver exterior the previous places of work of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The weekly was the goal of a lethal newsroom assault in 2015, and it republished caricatures of the prophet this month to underscore the proper to freedom of knowledge as a trial opened linked to that assault.

Friday’s terror assault got here as Macron’s authorities works on a invoice to handle Islamic radicals, who authorities declare are making a parallel society exterior the values of the French Republic.