The French school teacher beheaded by an Islamist terrorist is to be awarded the country’s highest order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur.
ISIS continue to celebrate the murder of Samuel Paty, 47, who was slaughtered in broad daylight outside his school by an 18-year-old Chechen national after showing images of the prophet Muhammad in a freedom of expression class.
But while the French government vows to honour the teacher with a national ceremony at the Sorbonne on Wednesday, ISIS jihadists have produced revolting propaganda using a photo of Paty’s severed head.
It was taken by the Chechen jihadist Aboulakh Anzorov after he cut it off and shortly before he was shot in the street by police.
The sick image has featured in a magazine published in India, which says: ‘If your freedom of expression doesn’t stop you from criticising Prophet Mohammed then our swords will not stop defending the honour of Prophet Mohammed.’
It also emerged today that Anzorov had sent a text message to one of the parents from Paty’s school who had complained about the images.
A police source said Anzorov had texted the parent but it was not clear whether they had responded.
Teacher Samuel Paty (left) was beheaded in the Paris suburbs on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class, leading Brahim Chinina (right), the father of a girl in his class, to issue what France’s interior minister called a ‘fatwa’ against him
The terrorist’s body lying in the middle of the road after he was killed by French police following his refusal to surrender
Three feminists are arrested for pasting naked images of Mohammed on city centre walls in Toulouse
Three feminists were arrested in Toulouse on Monday after pasting naked images of Mohammed on walls in the city centre.
The caricatures were drawn by Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier who was killed in the 2015 terror attack at the satirical paper’s offices.
Armed with paintbrushes and glue, the trio said they wanted to put up a thousand of the posters to ‘inundate the centre of Toulouse’.
One of them said that ‘we have to go quickly because it remains a risky action, we are not there to give a press conference’.
‘A man was slaughtered in France for showing caricatures,’ she told a bystander.
However, within half an hour the three women were arrested for illegal fly-posting, according to 20 Minutes.
Anzorov is believed to have shared the graphic images with fellow Russian-speaking jihadists before it was distributed among pro-ISIS accounts on Telegram.
A witness who saw Paty’s severed head described seeing Anzorov take pictures of it in the moments after the killing and before the terrorist was shot dead by police.
The murder has led to a renewed crackdown on extremism in France where ministers plan to shut down two Islamic organisations and a Paris mosque.
One imam apologised today after his mosque shared details of Paty and his school on Facebook following a campaign by an outraged Muslim father.
‘Given what happened we regret having published it, said imam M’hammed Henniche, according to France Info.
‘We are currently seeing how in the future to take a step back before getting carried away on things like that.’
While ISIS has not claimed responsibility for Paty’s killing, the magazine has previously urged people to emulate the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris which was also seen as revenge for blasphemy against Mohammed.
The Charlie Hebdo attackers were ‘leaving a clear path for others to follow’ because Western governments would not ‘carry out the punishment for the blasphemy prescribed by Islam’, the ISIS magazine said.
The 2015 killings were the first in a series of terror attacks which have rocked France in recent years, including Paty’s beheading last Friday.
According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitor, supporters of al-Qaeda have also been ‘celebrating’ the attack and sharing graphic images online.
There have also been posts from ISIS and al-Qaeda supporters ‘claiming [the killer] will inspire other lone wolves’, according to SITE director Rita Katz.
Meanwhile, Paris prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into a French neo-Nazi website hosted abroad that republished the photo of Paty’s corpse.
The teacher’s murder has led to renewed promises of action against Islamic extremists in France, with police conducting a series of raids on Monday.
Fifteen people have been detained so far, including four pupils who may have helped the killer to identify the teacher in return for money.
Law enforcement carried out 40 raids on Monday, mostly around Paris, with many more planned.
‘We want to harass and destabilise this movement in a very determined way,’ one government source said.
In addition, a 14-year-old French schoolboy has admitted identifying Paty to the terrorist who beheaded him after accepting the equivalent of €300 (£270) in cash.
The boy who accepted the money shared it among three friends, who are also all in custody. None of the children are thought to be Muslim and it is not suggested that they knew of Anzorov’s terrorist plans.
‘Anzarov said he simply wanted to film the teacher and ask him to apologise for showing the drawings to his class,’ said an investigating source.
Armed police stand guard outside the secondary school where Samuel Paty taught, while mourners lay flowers at the scene alongside a placard declaring ‘Je suis Samuel’
Candles, flowers and tributes left for Paty last night in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he was killed, with one message saying: ‘Samuel is not a martyr (let’s leave that word to the fanatics)… Samuel is a hero of the Republic’
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks to the media as she attends a vigil for Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Monday evening
Interior minister Gerald Darmanin vowed there would be ‘not a minute’s respite for enemies of the Republic’, after tens of thousands took part in nationwide rallies.
Darmanin said the government would also tighten its grip on institutions and charities with suspected links to Islamist networks.
Officials named two groups they would target for closure – the Collective Against Islamophobia in France that says it monitors attacks against Muslims, and BarakaCity, which describes itself as a humanitarian organisation.
In a social media post, BarakaCity accused Darmanin of ‘going mad’ and said he was taking advantage of a tragedy.
Darmanin also ordered the closure of a Paris mosque, accusing its imam of encouraging intimidation of the teacher and publicising the school’s address.
President Emmanuel Macron is due to attend a ceremony today in Paris after vowing new measures against extremism.
Paty, 47, was attacked on his way home from the secondary school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 25 miles from central Paris.
Anzorov was shot dead after refusing to put down his weapons in a dramatic stand-off with police soon after he murdered Paty.
Dramatic footage filmed from a nearby house shows the fatal stand-off between French police and the terrorist they shot dead last Friday after he beheaded a school teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class
A witness, who gave only his first name Stephane to news channel LCI, said he was nearby when the ‘barbaric’ attack happened, sheltering with his children.
‘We did not know what is going on. There was just a beheaded man in front of our house,’ he said, adding he saw the assailant take pictures.
A photo of the teacher and a message confessing to his murder was later found on the Anzorov’s phone.
The terrorist had arrived in France with his family from the predominantly Muslim Russian region of Chechnya more than a decade ago.
Four members of the killer’s family were among those detained.
The people under investigation also include the father of a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was in Paty’s class when he showed the controversial images.
Paty had given Muslim children an opportunity to leave the classroom, but the lesson nonetheless led to uproar.
The father, Brahim Chnina launched an online campaign against the teacher and has now been arrested along with a known Islamist radical.
Speaking on Monday, Darmanin accused the pair of issuing a ‘fatwa’ against the teacher which the terrorist had acted upon.
Emotions were still running high outside Paty’s school on Monday, where Muslim leaders gathered to offer condolences and distance their religion from the atrocity.
‘It is very important to come here to show our sorrow, to show that what happened here is not Islam. It was done by thugs who have nothing to do with Islam,’ said Kemadou Gassama, an imam in Paris.