Suspect Stalked French College Earlier than Beheading Trainer, Officers Say

PARIS — The suspect within the beheading of a history teacher in a Paris suburb was an 18-year-old immigrant of Chechen descent who was angered by the classroom show of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, French officers mentioned on Saturday.

The suspect, recognized by the authorities as Abdoulakh A., stalked the world exterior the varsity on Friday afternoon earlier than following the trainer, whom he stabbed and decapitated with a knife, Jean-François Ricard, the highest antiterrorism prosecutor, mentioned at a information convention.

“The person was in entrance of the faculty within the afternoon and requested college students to point the longer term sufferer to him,’’ Mr. Ricard mentioned, referring to the center college the place the trainer had taught. The suspect was fatally shot by the police in a confrontation quickly after the killing.

Investigators discovered a message planning the assault on the suspect’s cellphone, written a number of hours earlier than, Mr. Ricard mentioned. Then, shortly earlier than he was killed by the police, the suspect uploaded {a photograph} of the sufferer to Twitter, he added.

The ugly killing gave the impression to be the fruits of a few weeks of rigidity on the college, School du Bois-d’Aulne, in a quiet, middle-class suburb north of Paris. Muslim mother and father upset over the classroom show of two caricatures revealed by the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo had contacted college and police officers, however movies uploaded on social media by one father widened the dispute to an out of doors viewers.

Investigators have been nonetheless making an attempt to piece collectively how the suspect spent his days earlier than the assault, Mr. Ricard mentioned. However the suspect didn’t seem to have any direct ties to the varsity or to have been beforehand concerned within the dispute.

Born in Moscow, the suspect lived in France with the standing of a refugee, Mr. Ricard mentioned, including that he was not recognized to antiterrorism officers.

The brutal killing was the second violent episode inside weeks to be linked to the caricatures revealed by Charlie Hebdo, which had led to lethal assaults in Paris in 2015. Final month, because the trial of accomplices within the 2015 assault bought underway, the journal republished the drawings — an act that was seen as a daring assertion within the title of freedom of expression by some however as reckless and pointless provocation by others.

Final month, a 25-year-old Pakistani immigrant attacked two people exterior the previous workplaces of Charlie Hebdo, apparently angered after watching movies exhibiting protests in Pakistan in opposition to the republication of the cartoons.

Past its brutality, Friday’s killing hit a far greater nerve in France as President Emmanuel Macron and different high authorities officers rushed to the scene on Friday night.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of nationwide training, mentioned that in Friday’s killing, it was “the republic that was attacked.’’ France mentioned a ceremony could be organized to pay nationwide homage to the slain trainer.

The minister’s phrases mirrored the central position performed by France’s public colleges — hewing to a nationwide curriculum established by the central authorities — in instilling civic values and a nationwide id. However in addition they underscored the recurring tensions between France’s conventional republican values and people of newer arrivals, particularly these of Muslim religion who oppose the publication of the caricatures.

The tensions at School du Bois-d’Aulne emerged early this month because the trainer — who was 47 and, in keeping with mother and father and college students, had taught on the college for under few years — broached the subject of freedom of expression.

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