French police raid Islamist groups after teacher’s beheading

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GBNEWS24 DESK//

French police on Monday raided the homes of dozens of suspected Islamist militants three days after the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, the interior minister said.

The raids came a day after tens of thousands of people took part in rallies countrywide to honour slain teacher Samuel Paty and to defend freedom of expression.

Gerald Darmanin said the swoop on Islamist networks was designed to send a message that “enemies of the Republic” would not enjoy “a minute’s respite”.

He said over 80 investigations had been launched for online hate speech following the attack, which has drawn parallels with the 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where 12 people were gunned down for publishing the Mohammed cartoons.

That attack — the first in a string of assaults that have killed over 240 people in France — brought over a million people onto the streets of Paris to denounce extremism.

On Sunday, people again congregated on Place de la Republique in Paris, where world leaders had marched alongside the French in 2015.

Some in the crowd chanted “I am Samuel”, echoing the 2015 “I am Charlie” rallying call by supporters of free speech.

– Teacher targeted by ‘fatwa’ –

Paty, 47, was murdered on his way home from the school where he taught in a suburb northwest of Paris on Friday afternoon.

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