A terrorist who beheaded a school teacher in a gruesome act made a vile post before police gunned him down.
The man slit a teacher’s throat in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a suburb northwest of Paris on Friday (local time) before officers shot him dead a few streets away from the school.
According to Rita Katz, director of US-based SITE Intelligence Group which monitors white supremacist and jihadist organisations, the man displayed signs of extremism in the lead-up to his attack.
In a now-deleted post shared by Ms Katz, the killer wrote of his anger at French President Emmauel Macron.
“To Macron, leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hell hounds who dared belittle Muhammad,” the post reads.
The post threatened that “harsh punishment” would be inflicted on others.
BREAKING: Image of beheaded victim in #Paris suburb tweeted by what appears to be attacker shortly before he was killed: “To Macron, leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hell hounds who dared belittle Muhammad.”
The account, now removed, shows hyper-religious posting. pic.twitter.com/TyBaOZDUoI
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) October 16, 2020
The teacher, who taught history, had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad considered blasphemous by Muslims, French officials said.
Following the gruesome murder, unverified images of the slain teacher circulated online, including one showing his decapitated head lying in the street gutter.
"One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression," Mr Macron told reporters at the scene of the attack.
"Our compatriot was flagrantly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.”
"They won't win... We will act. Firmly, And quickly. You can count on my determination."
French broadcaster BFMTV reported that the suspected attacker was 18 years old and born in Moscow. Law enforcement officials did not name the attacker, or his victim.
A police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar", or "God is Greatest".
A police official said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot dead about 600 metres from where the male teacher was killed after he failed to respond to orders to put down his arms, and acted in a threatening manner.
The teacher had received threats after opening a discussion “for a debate” about the caricatures about 10 days ago, the police official told The Associated Press.
The parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at the school.
with Reuters and AP
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