World 2015 Mali attack was 'revenge' for Charlie Hebdo cartoons: defendant
Samuel Paty beheading: Teacher's slaying spurs protests across France
An 18-year-old man of Chechen origin has been identified as the suspect in Friday's beheading of a schoolteacher in a suburb of Paris, a French judicial source told CNN Saturday.Demonstrators took to the streets of French locales Sunday lauding free speech and decrying violence against educators after the slaying of a teacher who used caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad during a lesson.
A Mauritanian jihadist told a trial in Mali on Wednesday that he had attacked a club in the capital Bamako in 2015, killing five people, in revenge for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by France's Charlie Hebdo magazine.
A Frenchman, a Belgian and three Malians were killed in the March 2015 attack, when gunmen sprayed the Terrasse bar and restaurant with bullets, one of two deadly attacks targeting Westerners in Bamako that year.
"We are the ones who carried it out, Al-Mourabitoune," said Fawaz Ould Ahmed, also known as "Ibrahim 10," referring to a prominent jihadist group in the Sahel.
4 French students have been detained after a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was beheaded
The four are suspected of helping Samuel Paty's killer identify him in exchange for cash, Agence France-Presse reported.Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old history teacher, was killed near his school in the northwestern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday afternoon. Witnesses said the attacker shouted "Allahu akbar," or "God is the greatest," as he attacked Paty with a kitchen knife.
"We are not ashamed, we are proud," he said.
"It was revenge for the prophet after what they did at Charlie Hebdo -- it's the photos, the caricatures."
He added: "And sadly, it's not over. It's still continuing," in an apparent reference to French President Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to mock religion after a teacher was murdered near Paris for showing his pupils the cartoons.
Macron's comments have stoked anger in the Muslim world, with protests and boycotts of French product in a number of Arab countries.
- Hotel siege -
Ould Ahmed and two other men, Malian nationals Sadou Chaka and Abdoulbaki Abdramane Maiga, have been charged both for the La Terrasse attack and for another assault in November 2015, when gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the 190-room Radisson Blu hotel.
French teacher’s murder widens France-Turkey rift over secularism
As France mourns a beloved teacher murdered after showing controversial cartoons in class, a diplomatic rift between Europe and the Muslim world over secularism and religious freedom is widening. © Presidential Press Office/Handout via Reuters Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 26, 2020. Railing against Islamophobia in the West, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan joined a regional call for a boycott of French imports on Monday. He was cheered on by a Turkish national newspaper, which published lists of French brands to avoid at the market.
Ould Ahmed, believed to be aged about 40, is allegedly a lieutenant of the notorious one-eyed Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
He is accused of personally shooting the victims at La Terrasse with an assault rifle.
Ould Ahmed said he went into the toilets at the club to don a hood and get out his Kalashnikov, and then shot at people.
He said he was surprised he was able to return home by taxi without a hitch after the attack.
In January 2015, Islamist gunmen in Paris killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical magazine, over the publication of the Prophet Mohammed caricatures.
Millions of people in France took part in demonstrations in support of the stricken publication.
Ould Ahmed, who is also accused of masterminding the Radisson Blu attack, was arrested in April 2016 by Malian police in Bamako, where he had arrived more than a week earlier to prepare further assaults, according to a source close to the investigation.
The siege left 20 people dead, including 14 foreigners.
The trial in Bamako is a rare event in the Sahel, where weak and impoverished states are floundering in the face of a bloody jihadist revolt.
The insurgency in Mali first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country and from there to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
French Catholics pray under heavy security after new arrests .
French Catholics on Sunday celebrated a religious festival under the tightest security as police made two new arrests over the attack on a church in the southern city of Nice blamed on an Islamist knifeman. The tensions did not prevent Catholics going to church to celebrate the All Saints holiday in Nice, with the authorities also allowing an exemption during the coronavirus lockdown. "I was apprehensive, I was scared of coming," said Claudia, 49, as she went to church, reassured by the presence of heavily armed soldiers."We need to show that we are not scared and we are here," she said, following several other worshippers into the church.