Friday afternoon, October 16, Samuel Paty he said goodbye to his students wishing them a good holiday. It would be the last time they would see their Geography and History teacher. The 47-year-old teacher was killed when leaving school Bois-d’Aulne, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a quiet residential municipality on the outskirts of Paris. Your executioner, Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen origin, brutally ended his life by beheading him “in the name of Allah, the all-merciful.” A tragedy whose origin is in a class on freedom of expression, illustrated by the teacher with the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published by the satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’. A week after the terrorist attack, France remains perplexed, trying to regain balance after seeing one of its main pillars, the school, turned into a jihadist target.
The National Antiterrorist Prosecutor’s Office, in charge of clarifying the ins and outs of the attack, has decided to prosecute seven people for their alleged involvement in the event. All of them would have participated, in one way or another, in the death of Paty, the victim of a campaign of harassment and demolition that started on social media and ended with his tragic death.
Harmful campaign on social media
It all started on October 5, when the teacher gave a lesson on freedom of expression to his 4-13 year old students, inviting his Muslim students to leave class to avoid offending them with the images chosen to illustrate the topic: various caricatures of Muhammad. The next day, Samuel Paty repeated the same strategy, without any student choosing to leave the classroom. Despite his good intentions, his classes became criticized by parents of certain students, initiating one of them, Brahim C., a true campaign to denigrate the teacher and his teaching method through various videos that spread like wildfire on the internet. Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a well-known radical Islamist militant, also participated in the making of these recordings.
“It is now clear that the teacher was designated as objective on social media [por Brahim C., el padre de una alumna, y Sefrioui] through maneuvers and the reinterpretation of the facts, “explained the Antiterrorist Prosecutor’s Office, before announcing, this Wednesday, the imputation of both for “complicity in a terrorist murder”. Police investigations revealed by various French media would also prove that Abdoullakh Anzorov, killed by the police after resisting arrest, exchanged several messages with the father and author of the videos days before the incident.
Apology for jihadism
According to the information published by the newspaper ‘Le Monde’, the young Chechen, whose radicalization went unnoticed by the intelligence services’ radar despite his numerous apologies for ‘jihad’ on social media, reportedly used his account Twitter to locate their possible victims, a work of tracking that began on September 25, after the attack perpetrated at the gates of the former headquarters of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ by a Pakistani whose objective was none other than to punish the weekly for having republished the cartoons of the prophet. Thanks to the videos against Paty, in which the name of the teacher and his school appeared, he would have found his perfect victim.
Anzorov knew the professor’s name, but did not know his face. To identify it, I would have paid several students to be pointed out when leaving school. Two of them, ages 14 and 15, accused by the prosecution of “complicity in the murder in relation to a terrorist company”, allegedly received between “300 and 350 euros” for identifying the teacher.
Three detainees in his circle of friends
Two friends of the young Chechen, who presented themselves to the police on their own initiative, remain in provisional detention accused of “complicity in a terrorist murder”: one of them would have accompanied Anzorov to buy the murder weapon and the other to acquire two pistols AirSoft. A third, Yussuf C., prosecuted for “association of terrorist criminals with the aim of committing crimes against people” and who, according to the prosecution, would “clearly share his radical ideology”, also remains in police custody.
In a week, the public ministry has managed to reconstruct the motive for the attack, although it has not yet managed to clarify how Anzorov got to the school gates, or if he had a relationship with a terrorist organization or cell. Through the data on his phone, investigators would have discovered that Anzorov was in contact with at least two jihadists from the Syrian-Iraqi zone.
A week after the tragic event, the police authorities continue their investigations to decipher the last terrorist attack committed in France, this time against the heart of the Republic: the school and its teachers.