A radical Islamist terror attack that left a French teacher dead has resulted in “dozens” of raids and more than 80 investigations into online “hate speech” tied to global terrorism networks and major terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
The Times of Israel reports that Samuel Paty was the target of a “fatwa” issued by the father of one of his students in concert with “the head of an Islamist pro-Hamas group” who is well known for fomenting radical Islamic thought in Europe.
It also seems to have exposed an extensive network of radical Islamists connected by the Internet.
France’s interior minister told the Times of Israel earlier this week that authorities have conducted “dozens of raids” on evidence collected from Paty’s killer, 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov. Anzorov was found with a cell phone on him, with photos of Paty, the address of Paty’s school, and a note confessing to Paty’s murder, the outlet says.
From there, authorities connected Anzorov to an online network that included Abdelhakim Sefrioui, “president of the ‘Cheikh Yassine collective,'” radical preacher, and a supporter of Hamas.
“According to French newspaper Liberation, Sefrioui was known to French security services for his Islamist activities and anti-Semitic speeches,” the Times of Israel reported Tuesday. “In July 2014, Sefrioui participated in protests in Paris, chanting slogans in praise of Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He reportedly denounced the teacher in a video posted to social media a few days prior to the attack.”
Paty showed several cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed to his civics class last month. The cartoons, published in the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, led to a separate radical Islamic attack on Charlie Hebdo’s home offices that left 12 people dead and injured 11 others. The two gunmen are currently on trial in Paris for the horrific attack, which is likely why Paty included the cartoons in his classes.
His students insisted that they had been warned about the cartoons and that Paty showed them as part of a lesson on morals, but, authorities say, “the father of a schoolgirl had launched an online call for ‘mobilization’ against Paty and sought his dismissal from the school. The parent had named Paty and given the school’s address in a social media post just days before the assault.”
It appears that post alerted a local radical network, and Anzorov carried out the proposed attack with the help of at least two teenagers who identified Paty for money.
“Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old are among seven people who appeared before an investigating magistrate on accusations of ‘complicity in murder in relation with a terrorist undertaking’ and ‘criminal conspiracy,'” per The Associated Press “The suspect in Friday’s slaying of teacher Samuel Paty, who was attacked and beheaded near Paris, offered students at the school where Paty taught 300-350 euros ($355-$415) to help him pick out the educator, Richard said during a news conference.”
It’s not clear whether the students knew they were providing Paty’s whereabouts to a killer. Others, though, did seem to have a clear understanding that an attack was imminent.
“French police on Monday raided the homes of ‘dozens’ of Islamist militants,” authorities said Monday. “The interior minister said over 80 investigations had been launched for online hate speech following the killing of the teacher, who had been the target of vitriolic attacks on the internet.”