The father of a student and the head of an Islamist pro-Hamas group urged the killing of a French teacher who was beheaded for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, France’s interior minister said Monday, adding that police had carried out dozens of raids in connection with the attack.
“They apparently launched a fatwa against the teacher,” minister Gerald Darmanin told Europe 1 radio of the two men, who are among 11 people being held over the deadly attack by a young Chechen man.
Darmanin, said on Monday that the swoops on Islamists – including individuals who expressed support for the attack – should send the message that “enemies of the republic cannot expect a minute’s respite” and more police operations would follow. Darmanin said about 80 investigations were under way into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading online hate, and authorities were urgently assessing about 50 associations in the Muslim community, “some of which will certainly be dissolved”.
Among the organisations being investigated by authorities is the high-profile Anti-Islamophobia Collective, which Darmanin said appeared to be “clearly implicated” in the attack because the father of a child at the school had repeated its name in a video posted online calling for Paty’s dismissal.
The pupil’s father and Abdelhakim Sefrioui, president of the “Cheikh Yassine collective”, a well-known Islamist radical with links to the organisation who routinely uses social media and local campaigns to pressure the government over alleged Islamophobia, are among 11 people who have so far been arrested in connection with the murder. Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was a founder of the Hamas terror group. He was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip in 2004. According to French newspaper Liberation, Sefrioui was known to French security services for his Islamist activities and anti-Semitic speeches.
At an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday, Macron announced a series of anti-Islamist measures including concerted steps against “the structures, associations and people close to radical groups … who spread hate and can encourage attacks”. Macron reportedly told ministers: “Fear is about to change sides. Islamists must not be allowed sleep soundly in our country.”
France’s chief public prosecutors were summoned on Monday to an urgent meeting with the justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, to discuss “additional measures necessitated by the situation”, Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said: “Those who participated in the public lynching of this teacher on social media are in some way also responsible for what happened.”
The leader of the far-right National Rally, Marine Le Pen, laid a wreath outside Paty’s school on Monday. She called for “wartime legislation” to combat the terror threat and demanded an “immediate” moratorium on immigration and the expulsion of all foreigners on terror watchlists.
Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2572448. #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile