13:13 GMT26 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France has launched 187 investigations into suspected violent extremism since the brutal killing of history teacher Samuel Paty in Paris in mid-October, the Franceinfo broadcaster reported on Thursday, citing sources.

    According to the media outlet's sources, the inquires in effect include incidents of "threats," "provocation to the commission of violent offenses" and "justification for terrorism," most often in the form of comments made or relayed via social networks.

    In particular, the broadcaster said, the Paris prosecutor's office launched over fifty probes into "justification for terrorism" within 15 days after the Samuel Paty murder, and 93 similar inquires have been opened across France from 22-29 October. In addition, the French Interior Ministry's special web platform, Pharos, designed to receive reports about online hate speech, has received some 2,000 related reports since the killing of the teacher.

    Samuel Paty was beheaded on 16 October on the outskirts of Paris by a 18-year-old Chechen teenager after he had used cartoons depicting Islamic prophet Mohammad as a teaching prop during a class on freedom of speech. The cartoons had previously been used by terrorists as a justification for mass killings in January 2015, when a total of 17 people were killed, including members of the editorial staff of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published the drawing of the prophet.

    The teacher's murder was followed by another terrorist attack in a catholic church in the city of Nice on 29 October, where a 21-year-old radical of Tunisian origin stabbed dead three people. He was arrested and hospitalized due to injuries collected during the police operation.

    In the wake of a series of radicalism-driven violent acts, French President Emmanuel Macron declared the nation was under terrorist attack, boosted security across French mainland and ordered stronger counter-terrorist measures to curb the Islamist threat.

    murder, extremism, police, France
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