Young children are investigated in France for supporting terrorism

Children as young as EIGHT are investigated in France after several cases of youths interrupting memorials to beheaded teacher to say he deserved to die

  • Strasbourg prosecutors said children suggested Samuel Paty deserved to die 
  • Paty was beheaded last month near his school outside Paris by a Chechen teen
  • Teacher Paty showed cartoons of Mohammed as part of lesson on free speech 
  • Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said Monday that 66 inquiries into alleged support of terrorism had been opened since Paty’s death on October 16

Children as young as eight are being investigated in France after several youths were reported to have interrupted memorials to beheaded teacher Samuel Paty.  

Prosecutors in Strasbourg said they are investigating two 12-year-old school students on suspicion of supporting terrorism after they made comments during a nationwide minute of silence Monday for the teacher. 

The pair apparently suggested that Paty deserved to die for showing the controversial cartoons that had been republished by the satirical weekly. 

They added that two similar incidents were also reported involving children aged eight and nine, prompting a social welfare inquiry. 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Education, Youth and Sports Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer attend a homage to slain teacher Samuel Paty at a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France yesterday. Prosecutors in the eastern city of Strasbourg say they are investigating two 12-year-olds (none pictured) after they suggested slain teacher Paty deserved to die for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

Paty was killed on his way home from work after school by 18-year-old Chechnya-born Abdullakh Anzorov, who published an image of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter before he was himself shot dead by police

Paty became the subject of an online hate campaign over his choice of lesson material – the same cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago.

Paty was killed on his way home from work after school in October by 18-year-old Chechnya-born Abdullakh Anzorov, who published an image of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter before he was himself shot dead by police. 

Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said Monday that 66 inquiries into alleged support of terrorism had been opened since Paty’s death on October 16, after alerts to France’s online extremism watchdog Pharos.

‘The questioning often involves young people, aged 12 to 16, who have used extremely repugnant language,’ Darmanin told a parliamentary panel.

Often the comments and imagery reflect extreme violence ‘inspired by the Islamic State group, which is very worrying’, he said.

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