French police raid suspected Islamist groups after teacher beheaded
The teacher had shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression
Paris — More police operations were under way including raids on dozens of suspected Islamist groups on Monday after the killing of a French history and geography teacher by a suspected Islamist.
Teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday outside his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 40km northwest of Paris, by an 18-year-old man who was shot dead by police.
The killing sparked outrage in France, and drew condemnation from President Emmanuel Macron and political parties.
Interior minister Gérald Darmanin said on Monday there were about 80 investigations under way into online hate speech in France — including those who expressed support for the attack. He said he was looking into whether certain groups from the French Muslim community should be dissolved after accusations of promoting violence and hate.
A police source said late on Sunday that France was preparing to deport 231 foreigners on a government watch list for suspected extremist beliefs. It was not immediately clear if Monday's operations were connected.
Earlier in October, Paty showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous.
The attacker, who was of Chechen origin and was born in Russia, had been living in the town of Evreux northwest of Paris. He was not previously known to the intelligence services.
The killing shocked France and carried echoes of an attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after it published the cartoons.
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