Great Britain

Macron vows ‘Islamists will never take our future’ as he stands by coffin of teacher beheaded by maniac jihadi

EMMANUEL Macron has vowed that "Islamists will never take our future" after he stood beside the coffin of a teacher slain by a jihadi.

Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded last Friday by a brainwashed fanatic, 18, after he showed his students cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad.

Moscow-born Chechen refugee Abdullakh Anzorov posted a picture of the teacher's severed head online before he was shot dead by police in Paris.

Speaking at a memorial event at Sorbonne University, in front of Paty's coffin, President Macron said the teacher was killed by "cowards" for standing for France's secular, democratic values.

Surrounded by the victim's former pupils and fellow teachers, Macron said: "He was killed because Islamists want our future", before adding "they will never have it."

The French leader also vowed that France "will not give up cartoons."

He then posthumously awarded Paty the Legion d'Honneur - the country's highest honour.

The teacher will also be made Commander of Academic Palms, another prestigious honour.

Macron said: "Samuel Paty became the face of the Republic, of our will to shatter terrorists, to (do away with) Islamists, to live like a community of free citizens in our country."

He added: "We will continue."

A ceremonial military guard carried the teacher's coffin into the cobblestone courtyard of the Sorbonne where the memorial took place before his family, government members and select guests.

The stirring ceremony came hours after the prosecutor sketched out how the teenager came to kill Paty, with the suspected help of two young students at the school in a northwest Paris suburb.

Jean-Francois Ricard said a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old are among seven people taken before an investigating magistrate on accusations of helping the terrorist commit murder.

Anzorov offered students at the school where Paty taught around £300 to help him pick out the educator, Ricard said during a news conference.

The probe has established that the killer "knew the name of the teacher, the name of the school and its address, yet he did not have the means to identify him," the prosecutor said.

"That identification has only been possible with the help of students from the same school.

Anzorov claimed responsibility in a text accompanied by a photograph of the victim found on his phone.

The other suspects include a student's father who started an online campaign against Paty and an Islamist activist who helped the man spread the messages, which named the teacher and the school, Ricard said.

Two more men, aged 18 and 19, are accused of accompanying the attacker when he bought the weapons, including a knife and an airsoft gun, the prosecutor said.

One of them allegedly drove Anzorov, who lived in the Normandy town of Evreux about 56 miles away, to near the school about three hours before the killing.

Another 18-year-old suspect had close contacts with the attacker and endorsed radical Islamism, Ricard said.

All three suspects allegedly said that Anzorov "was radicalising for several months, marked by a change of behaviour, physical appearance" as well as making "ambiguous remarks about Jihad and the Islamic State group."

Friday's attack was the fifth in France this year alone.

Just last month, seven people were detained after a meat cleaver attack outside Charlie Hebdo's former offices in Paris.

Twelve people were massacred at the site in 2015 after the magazine published satirical cartoons of Muhammad.

Paris knife attack sees ‘several stabbed near former Charlie Hebdo office'

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