French police on Monday raided Islamic associations and foreigners suspected of extremist religious beliefs, police sources said, three days after a suspected Islamist beheaded a school teacher.
History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot the attacker dead.
The teenage assassin sought to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression to 13-year-olds. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
Public figures called the killing an attack on the Republic and on French values.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said there were some 80 investigations being conducted into online hate and that he was looking into whether to disband about 50 associations within the Muslim community.
“Police operations have taken place and more will follow, concerning tens of individuals,” the minister told Europe 1.
A police source on Sunday said France was preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watchlist and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, among whom about 150 are serving jail sentences.