France takes strict measures against extremists after beheading of French teacher

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron headed an extraordinary session of the French Defense Council after the beheading of a French teacher by a Chechen refugee angry at the teacher displayed a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on freedom of speech.

After the beheading of Samuel Paty (47), a teacher of French history, on Friday by a teenage Chechen refugee, Abdullah Anzurov (18), in a suburb of the French capital Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron called on the ministers concerned with security affairs to take urgent measures to combat terrorism during an extraordinary session of the French Defense Council on Sunday.

In public comments, Macron referred to the incident as an attack on “the republic and its values”.

According to French BFM TV channel, decisions were taken to tighten security measures in educational institutions and raise the level of interest in messages posted on social media. After the murder, more than 20 publications supporting the crime had been monitored, and the security services pledged to hold the publishers of these messages accountable.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said that authorities investigating the murder also arrested nine suspects related to the attack, including the grandfather, parents, and 17-year-old brother of the attacker.

The French authorities also decided to tighten monitoring of the activities of some associations suspected of spreading extremist Islamic propaganda.

French Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin ordered the expulsion of 231 foreigners listed on the terrorist extremism list within the next few days.

Currently, 180 of those to be deported from France are in prison, while 51 others will be arrested as soon as possible.

Leaders of the Muslim community in France condemned the killing and violent extremism. Such attacks breed division in French society and are devastating to France’s Muslim community, said Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque.

“Every day that passes without incident we give thanks,” he told France Inter radio. “We are between hammer and anvil. It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness.”