French Police Detain 7 People With Links To Refugee Who Beheaded Schoolteacher

(Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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French anti-terrorism police detained seven people suspected to have had links to the Chechen refugee who beheaded a schoolteacher in October, the Associated Press reported.

The seven individuals that were detained were suspected contacts of Abdoullakh Anzorov, the 18-year-old who decapitated schoolteacher Samuel Paty after Paty had reportedly showed students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were published by the satirize magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015, according to the AP

Anzorov was shot dead by police. He had reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in a text found on his phone, where there was also a picture of Paty, according to the AP. 

TOPSHOT – French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respects by the coffin of Samuel Paty’s coffin inside Sorbonne University’s courtyard in Paris on October 21, 2020, during a national homage to French teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed in his civics class. (Photo by FRANCOIS MORI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The suspects were detained Tuesday in cities including near the Paris region, Lyon, and Toulouse. A total of 14 people are being investigated in connection to the killing.

Paty had shown the students the caricatures as part of a lesson on freedom of speech. Anzorov allegedly said he wanted to punish Paty for showing students the cartoons, according to Reuters. Days after the killing, French police raided the homes of suspected Islamic radicals and interviewed nearly 80 people, many of which police believed posted messages supportive of Anzorov.

Dozens of French Muslim organization were also investigated following the killing. Before the killing, Macron announced a law that would combat “radical Islamism” in the country by cracking down on foreign financing of mosques and private religious schools.(RELATED: French Police Raid Homes Of Islamic Radicals, Interview Nearly 80 People Who Posted Messages Supporting Decapitation Of Teacher)

This image grab from AFP TV shows a picture of Nice assailant Brahim Aouissaoui, who a day earlier killed three people and wounded several others in the southern French city of Nice, held by his mother at the family home in the Tunisian city of Sfax, on October 30, 2020.(Photo by AFPTV TEAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

A Tunisian migrant who killed three people at a church in Nice weeks after Paty was slain was also linked to Anzorov, Reuters reported in November. Brahim Aouissaoui, who is alleged to have carried out the attack in Nice in late October, had photos of Anzorov on his phone.