French Police Raid Homes Of Suspected Islamic Terrors
French police have raided the homes of dozens of suspected Islamic radicals following the beheading of a teacher who showed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils.
Some of those being questioned are believed to have posted messages of support for the killer of Samuel Paty.
The government also said it was probing 51 French Muslim associations.
Mr Paty’s suspected killer was shot dead by police on Friday after the attack close to the teacher’s school.
The school is located in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a north-western suburb of Paris.
The suspect, an 18-year-old born in Moscow of Chechen origin, had no known connection to Mr Paty or the school.
On Monday, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the latest raids sent a message that there was “no respite for enemies of the republic”, and that they were expected to continue all week.
He said that not all individuals targeted in the operations were necessarily linked to the investigations into Mr Paty’s death.
Meanwhile, police will interview about 80 people who are believed to have posted messages in support of Mr Paty’s killer, Mr Darmanin added.
The government said that if Muslim organisations under investigation were found to promote hatred, they would be closed down.
Mr Darmanin labelled one organisation, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), an “enemy of the state”, and said he wanted to shut it down.
The organisation, which monitors anti-Muslim hate crime in France, has accused Mr Darmanin of slander after he claimed the group was “obviously” involved in Friday’s attack, according to AFP news agency.
In a statement following news of the attack, the CCIF expressed “our pain and our sadness to the family of this teacher”.
On Monday, a group of imams are expected to gather outside the school where Mr Paty worked.