Paris – The possible involvement of radical Islamist movements in the beheading on Friday of a history professor in the Yvelines by an 18-year-old Chechen Russian boy is causing concern among the intelligence services and the government.
The presence of radical Islamist activist Abdelhakim Sefrioui among the eleven people held in police custody as part of the investigation into the assassination of Samuel Paty came on Saturday to reinforce these suspicions.
These Islamist movements “minority, seek to convince Muslims that France is an Islamophobic country. They seek to instrumentalize them, to create a conglomerate“, Laurent Nuñez, the national intelligence and counterterrorism coordinator, told AFP.”And at the slightest incident, they get to work“.
Known to the services, Mr. Sefrioui is the founder of the Cheikh Yassine collective (named after the founder of Hamas, killed by the Israeli army in 2004). At the beginning of October, he had accompanied to the college of Bois d’Aulne in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, the father of a student to ask for the dismissal of Mr. Paty, who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his students.
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Introducing himself as “member of the Council of Imams of France“, he had also posted a video on Youtube a few days ago in which he denounced the professor, calling him”thug“.
It was also he who had questioned, in another video broadcast on the same platform, the daughter of the student’s parent and called for mobilization.
The national anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard made no connection to the press on Saturday between this man and the killer.
– “Indirect link” –
If there is “not a direct link“established, Laurent Nunez considers however that there is no doubt”an indirect link“. “We can see that a plateau has been crossed“, he judges, pointing to the”quality of the victim – a teacher – and barbarism“of his assassination.
The official also notes a resurgence of the discourse of radical Islamist movements with “the Charlie trial, the republication of the cartoons and the speech by President Macron on an upcoming law intended to strengthen secularism and fight against Islamist separatism“.
After the chopper attack perpetrated at the end of September in front of the former premises of Charlie Hebdo by a young Pakistani, a security source explained to AFP that it was “the republication of the cartoons rather than the trial which had played in the aggravation of the threats“.
“The will to strike the West is intact” more “between those who are deceased and those who are incarcerated“, the capacity for action of terrorist groups is”very reduced“, she added, insisting on the endogenous threat coming from individuals acting alone.
“For a month in particular, there has been convergence and mobilization of three currents of Islamists: + Muslims + led by Marwan Muhammad, former spokesperson for the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), the CCIF, and + Baraka City +“a source close to the government confirmed to AFP.
The president of this Muslim charity, Driss Yemmou, was placed under judicial supervision this week before being tried for harassment on social networks against a journalist.
– “Hate of France” –
These movements “today took the lead of the Islamosphere, with a political, religious, radical approach, of hatred against France“, adds the same source.
“For them, France is a racist, Islamophobic state, the impious country and absolute disbeliever.“, she insists,”they want chaos and civil war to build a new order around Sharia law. They are part of a violent process“.
According to this source close to the government, Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech on Islamist separatism has heightened their anger.
“The passage to the act of this young (the killer of Conflans, note) is part of this furrow“, she believes. This source also underlines the role”hate messages on social networks that water young people“regretting, by the way,”censorship of almost all of the law against hate content on the internet“.
The Constitutional Council ruled in June that the heart of this law, which imposed new obligations on operators of internet platforms, portrays freedom of expression and communication.
Put in custody on Saturday, the father of the student of the murdered professor had posted on Facebook on October 7 a message calling for mobilization in which he mentioned the CCIF.
“Since two weeks“, commented the source close to the government, the”penetration rate“of the three currents on social networks is”particularly important“.