French police link a school stabbing that killed a teacher to Islamic extremism
Tens of thousands of Muslims demonstrated on Friday across the Middle East in a “Day of Rage” called by Hamas in support of the Palestinians. As a result, stabbing incidents occurred in France and China.
According to French authorities, a man of Chechen origin, who had been under surveillance over suspected Islamic radicalization stabbed a teacher to death and wounded three others at his former high school in Northern France. Police officer Sliman Hamzi, who was among the first to respond to the scene, said: “It was a horrible thing to see this poor man who was killed on the job by a lunatic.”
The country raised its threat alert to the highest level, and the attack was being investigated by anti-terrorism prosecutors.
The assailant, an Islamic radical, shouted “Allahu akbar”. He was detained for questioning on Thursday, based on the monitoring of his phone calls in recent days, but investigators found no proof that he was preparing an attack, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The attacker’s older brother is serving a 5-year prison term for terror offences. He had been involved in an armed attack around the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris and was convicted this year. Other members of the radical Islamist group were also jailed for up to 15 years.
Almost simultaneously, an Israeli embassy worker was attacked in Beijing, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Video footage revealed the attacker repeatedly stabbing the man in front of a supermarket, then fleeing the scene. Authorities later arrested the 53 year-old man.
In Beirut, Lebanon, a few thousand supporters joined a rally organized by Hezbollah. The masses shouted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”. Hezbollah leaders pledged solidarity with Hamas and denounced Israel.
Demonstrators were captured burning Israeli and American flags in Iran. The Israeli Foreign Ministry declared that the protests “are liable to turn violent.”