Father of Pupil, Two Teens to Appear Before Anti-Terror Judge over Teacher Beheading

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 20: Flowers are placed at the Place de la République square in tribute to Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded last week outside the school where he taught on October 20, 2020 in Paris, France. The 47 year-old teacher has allegedly killed for showing caricatures of the …
Siegfried Modola/Getty Images

The father of a pupil who put out a video fatwa on Samuel Paty for showing Mohammed cartoons in class and two teenagers who were paid to identify the teacher are amongst seven to appear before an anti-terror judge in France.

Eighteen-year-old Chechen refugee Abdullah Anzorov beheaded teacher Samuel Paty outside of a school in a suburb of Paris on Friday, after the history teacher had shown satirical cartoons of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed, to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression.

A number of people had been taken into custody for questioning, with French media announcing on Wednesday that seven must face an anti-terror judge for possible indictments and to establish whether Anzorov, who was shot dead by police, had benefitted from the collaboration of others before committing the deadly Islamist terror attack.

Brahim Chninam is one of the seven. The father of a 13-year-old daughter in Paty’s class, Chninam had posted a video on social media calling for a “mobilisation” against Mr Paty, revealing the teacher’s name and school’s address in Conflans-Saint-Honorine. France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had described the social media campaign as a “fatwa”. Chninam was also reportedly in contact with Anzorov before the deadly attack, but French media said that the content of the WhatsApp messages had not yet been revealed.

Two others facing indictment include a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, according to franceinfo, who are suspected of having accepted from Anzorov between €300 and €350 to identify their 47-year-old teacher.

There has been growing concern over the radicalisation of pupils in France’s schools. One teacher at a school in the heavily migrant-populated Seine-Saint-Denis said recently that after showing footage of people in Pakistan burning French flags in response to Charlie Hebdo republishing the satirical drawings of Mohammed, his pupils cheered.

Islamist activist Abdelhakim Sefrioui, who supported Chninam in his media campaign against the teacher, will also appear before the judge, according to Le Point. Sefrioui is known to French security services, being on the ‘File S’ of suspects believed to be a threat to national security.

Sefrioui also knows M’hammed Henniche, who leads a group of mosques in Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, which shared Chninam’s video on their official Facebook page. However, Henniche said that he had not been in contact with the Islamist activist since 2012.

Henniche was forced to apologise for sharing the post. The Grand Mosque of Pantin, some 45 minutes away from the school, will be closed for six months from Wednesday evening, on the order of the interior minister “in response to its leader sharing a message calling for the intimidation of a teacher and giving out the school’s address”.

Three other adults, described by French media as either friends or relatives of Anzorov, who surrendered themselves to authorities, will also face the judge. LCI revealed that six others, including members of Anzorov’s family, have been released after investigators determined they were not involved in the teacher’s assassination.

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