A school teacher was beheaded in the Parisian suburb of Eragny, and the suspect is an 18-year-old Moscow born teenager of Chechen descent, a source told CNN.
The alleged attacker was shot dead by police on Friday afternoon, and nine people have been taken in for questioning, including members of the suspect’s family.
The victim was identified as history teacher Samuel Paty, 47, according to French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
Paty taught his class about freedom of speech and showed them caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed while discussing the Charlie Hebdo attacks as part of the lesson. Sources told the Associated Press that the class led to threats against the teacher because Islam prohibits photos of the prophet; it is considered idolatry.
The suspect then went to the school and asked students to point out the teacher. Officials said he posted the victim on Twitter immediately following the murder, claiming responsibility. The teen was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun.
“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” French President Emmanuel Macron said at the school. Additionally, he said the teacher was a “victim of an Islamic attack.”
According to the Associated Press, French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said that an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive had been opened and is ongoing.