UPDATE: The police have clarified to the public that the suspect was not a parent of a child at the school, but was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee.
According to AP, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said authorities investigating the killing of the history teacher also arrested nine suspects, including the 19-year-old man’s grandfather, parents, and 17-year-old brother.
In March the suspect was granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee.
Police say the teacher had discussed caricatures of Muhammad with his class which led to threats and a complaint from a parent.
The caricatures of Muhammad were from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and were shown during a moral and civic education class discussion about freedom of speech. Before presenting the caricature of Muhammad, the teacher reportedly invited Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished.
After the class, the father of a 13-year-old girl who did not leave the class reportedly posted on YouTube claiming that the teacher had shown a photo of “a naked man” claiming he was the “Muslim prophet”. The father also called on other parents to join him in collective action against the teacher and described the teacher as a “voyou” (thug).
However, the teacher reportedly denied that the daughter of this father who complained was not in the class the day he showed the cartoon.
French prosecutors said a text claiming responsibility and a photograph of the victim were found on the suspect’s phone and that the suspect had been seen at the school asking students about the teacher. The headmaster of the school had received several threatening phone calls prior to the attack.
A source told Le Parisien: ‘The victim had recently given a lesson to his students on freedom of expression and had shown the caricatures of Muhammad’.
The suspect of the beheading was an enraged parent of one of the students who confronted the teacher with a knife on Friday near a school in the Conflans Saint-Honorine neighborhood, 25 miles from Paris.
The police spokesman said that witnesses had heard the attacker should “Allah Akbar” during the attack on the middle school teacher.
‘When police arrived, the person thought to be responsible was still present and threatened them with his weapons.’, the Daily Mail reported.
The suspect was spotted by a police patrol carrying a knife a short distance from the scene of the attack and was subsequently shot dead by the police when the suspect waved a gun.
In the past several years France has seen a series of violent attacks carried out by ‘Islamist militants’.
Last month on September 25, a man who immigrated to France from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack two people outside the former officers of Charlie Hebdo.
The suspect in that attack said he aimed to target the offices of Charlie Hebdo. The suspect said he was angered by the republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which original publishings led to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in 2015.
On January 7, 2015, the magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked when gunmen wearing masks and bulletproof vests entered the news office during the paper’s weekly editorial meeting and killed twelve people because the magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Eight were journalists, including four well-known cartoonists; two police officers; a building maintenance worker; and a guest of the editorial board.
A day after the January 7th attack in 2015, a gunman dressed similar to those in the Charlie Hebdo attack, shoots and kills a female police officer in the Paris suburb of Montrouge.
The next day on January 9th, 2015, four more people are killed when a gunman enters a Jewish grocery store in the suburb of Porte de Vincennes.