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Authorities: Killer in France was a Chechen refugee

by Tim Lamer
Posted 10/19/20, 02:41 am

French authorities say a teenage refugee was the attacker who beheaded a history teacher on Friday in a suburb of Paris. The teacher, Samuel Paty, had reportedly discussed caricatures of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, with his high-school class in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Police shot and killed the suspect during a confrontation that followed the attack. Officials told the Associated Press the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee born in Moscow.

What was the reaction to the attack in France? Tens of thousands of people joined nationwide rallies on Sunday to honor Paty. French President Emmanuel Macron called the murder an “Islamist terrorist attack” during a visit to the school on Friday night. “One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught ... the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” he said. Macron’s government has been working on a bill to address what it calls attempts by Islamic radicals to create a separate society at odds with the values of the French Republic. French authorities arrested 11 people, including four members of the suspect's family, in connection with the attack.

Dig Deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Janie B. Cheaney's reflections on confronting Islamic terrorism after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its initial posting.

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