A TERRORIST asked pupils to point out a teacher who showed Prophet Mohammed cartoons in class before beheading him in the street.
History and geography teacher Samuel Paty, 47, previously received death threats for producing the images in a lesson on freedom of expression.
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The suspect has been named as 18-year-old Aboulakh Anzorov – a Russian national of Chechen origin.
He had been granted a ten-year residency as a refugee in March and was not known to intelligence services.
The killer was shot dead by cops after severing his victim’s head with a kitchen knife in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday.
Nine people – including members of the attacker’s family and parents of a child at the school – have been arrested.
The terrorist was believed to be furious children had been shown the cartoon.
He asked pupils to point Samuel out before launching into the frenzied attack, a French anti-terrorism prosecutor today revealed.
Aboulakh A is said to have shouted Allahu Akbar – meaning God is the greatest – as he carried out the bloody killing.
The suspect then posted a graphic image of Samuel on social media alongside a threat in French to those who “insult” the prophet.
Authorities in France confirmed they are treating the attack as “murder linked to a terrorist organisation”.
Heartbroken colleagues and pupils today held white roses and signs reading “Je Suis Enseignant” – meaning “I am a teacher” as they paid tribute to Samuel.
Others have posted on Twitter using the hashtag “Je Suis Prof” in solidarity with the tragic teacher.
Samuel had previously been “concerned for his safety” after receiving death threats, a colleague claimed.
He had reportedly invited Muslim pupils to leave the room before showing the cartoon around ten days ago as any depiction of the Prophet is seen as blasphemous.
But one student stayed behind and later told her parents, who filed a complaint against Samuel.
A video was then posted online branding the teacher a “thug” as the community was urged to complain about the lesson.
A colleague said: “Samuel had angered parents by showing a picture of a nude Prophet Mohammed to kids in his freedom of expression class, and there had been threats against him.”
The image was the same one published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.
Al-Qaeda-linked gunman stormed the officers in Paris in response and slaughtered 12 people.
The gunmen were later killed by police as the hashtag “Je Suis Charlie” trended worldwide.
Charlie Hebdo has now tweeted following the attack.
They said: “Charlie Hebdo shares his feelings of horror and revolt after a teacher in the line of duty was murdered by a religious fanatic. We express our deepest support to his family, loved ones and all the teachers.
“Intolerance has just crossed a new threshold and does not seem to stop at nothing to impose its terror on our country. Only the determination of political power and the solidarity of all will defeat this fascist ideology.
“This filthy act mourns our democracy but must make us more combative than ever to defend our freedom.”
The bloodbath erupted when Samuel was discovered decapitated near the school – around 25 miles from Paris – yesterday.
The killer then fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise, around two miles away, where he refused to surrender.
Terror cops confirmed they were investigating and were threatened with “weapons” as they swooped on the suspect.
Around ten shots rang out in the quiet suburb as he was gunned down and killed by cops.
Anti-terrorist prosecutors are investigating the attack and have linked it with radical Islamism.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the horror as he visited the school where the teacher worked last night.
He said: “A citizen has been murdered today because he was a teacher and because he taught freedom of expression.
“The whole country stands behind its teachers. Terrorists will not divide France, obscurantism will not win.”
Yesterday’s attack is the fifth this year alone in France.
Just last month, seven people were detained in connection with a knife attack outside Charlie Hebdo’s former offices in Paris.
France has been plagued by a string of deadly terror attacks since 2015.
The deadliest was in 2015 when 130 people were killed in Paris as suicide bombers targeted the Stade de France, cafés, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue.
In July 2016, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured when a 19-tonne truck was deliberately driven into crowds in Nice.