France Vows Action Against Extremist Threat In The Wake Of The Attack
(New York, N.Y.) – Last week, Russian-born Chechen Abdoulakh Anzorov stabbed and decapitated a school teacher in a street in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. According to French officials, the 18 year-old attacker targeted Samuel Paty after Paty showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in his class. Anzorov, who was later shot dead by the police, filmed the moments before the attack and the attack itself, which he uploaded to the Internet. He also uploaded a picture of Paty’s body to Twitter with a confession of killing one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s “hellhounds who dared to belittle Mohammed….”
In response to the attack, French authorities have announced plans to expel 231 immigrants who are suspected to be “engaged in a process of radicalization, [and] are likely to want to go abroad to join terrorist groups or take part in terrorist activities.” According to a police union official, 180 of those suspects are already incarcerated and the other 51 are likely be arrested soon. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also indicated that French security officials would be investigating 51 organizations, including religious institutions and mosques, to determine whether they should be disbanded.
The gruesome attack comes less than a month after an assailant with a butcher’s knife stabbed two bystanders outside of the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. In January 2015, assailants affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed 12 people after the magazine published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. At the time, the shooting was the deadliest terrorist incident on French soil in 50 years. Russian journalists and civil society leaders suggested a possible avenue of radicalization for Anzorov and other Chechens is extreme rhetoric from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been a vocal opponent of illustrations of the Islamic prophet. After the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, Kadyrov led a rally protesting the magazine’s publication of the Muhammad cartoons.
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