A.When Abdullah A. photographed the history teacher, who was beheaded on Friday at 16.57, and posted it online a little later, a corresponding message had already been written. Investigators found this in notes on his cell phone. It was addressed to the President of France: “From Abdullah, the servant of Allah, to Macron, the chief of the unbelievers,” it said: “I have executed one of your hells who dared to humiliate Muhammad.”
The account operated under the name @ Tchetchen_270 and has since been deleted by Twitter’s short message service. Although Abdullah A., who had only been active for a few weeks, the barely 18-year-old Chechen, who had been granted political asylum in France and had had a residence permit since March, posted more than 400 messages online.
Often these were excerpts from the Qur’an, but also once a photomontage of a beheading scene that went online on July 30th. Three days earlier, Lycra, an association against racism and anti-Semitism, also referred to this information because Abdullah A. in a short message described “Jews” as “cursed people.”
The fact that the perpetrator was still unknown to the French intelligence services may not be seen as a failure, but certainly as a fatal omission.
Already in 2018, near the Paris Opera, a Chechen born in 1997 killed one person and injured several. During the 2017 presidential election campaign, investigators managed to prevent a planned assassination attempt on one of the candidates. This was planned by a Frenchman who radicalized himself in contact with the Chechens.
Officials deny and note that we are dealing with a new form of terror because in the last six attacks in France all six criminals have slipped through the intelligence network. They have all been radicalized “very quickly, in no time,” said Laurent Nunez, secretary of state for interior and intelligence coordinator in the fight against terrorism.
“They have no contact with individuals present in the ISIS, in Syria or Iraq,” and therefore, according to Nunez, “they are virtually impossible to detect.” Nunez, however, assured that the Chechen community was “in the spotlight of the intelligence services.”
Others doubt it. “When it comes to radicalization, the Chechens are at a dead end, although there were many signs,” Mariana magazine anonymously quoted the former intelligence officer as saying.
German-Egyptian political scientist Asim El Diffraoui also believes that France has focused too much on the terrorist organization ISIS and neglected other groups. This explains why French investigators do not know deeply about this community, which was only noticed in June this year.
Chechens from all over the country traveled to Dijon for a revenge campaign to wage street battles with Frenchmen of Arab descent. “You don’t really know what’s going on in the Chechen diaspora because there are few people in the French secret service who speak that language,” El Difraoui said.
“This is a brutal society, a group with an extremely patriarchal, clan-like structure and a long history of violence,” the political scientist said in an interview with WELT.
French Secretary of State Nunez cautiously does not use the outdated term “lone wolf”. He believes the law on separatism and parallel societies, announced by President Macron two weeks ago, is a step in the right direction.
The fact that the last six killers acted almost freely suggests that the fight against terrorism goes far beyond the task of the secret services and should include “all public services, all teams.”
The fact that the offender came to the Conflans-Saint-Gonarin community from Euro, about 90 kilometers away, and asked the students about the teacher’s appearance suggests that Abdullah A. did not personally know his victim.
It is very likely that he was revived to his horror by several videos of his father at school. He called to stop the teacher and gave a cell phone number.
At the moment, investigators do not rule out the possibility that the offender was hired directly. Spokesman for the Association of Chechens in Europe Chamil Albakov believes that the 18-year-old was radicalized “in his room, on the Internet” and not in a nearby mosque.