Teen who stabbed French Jewish teacher cited IS group

Boris Horvat, AFP | Stock photo

A teenager who stabbed a Jewish teacher in the southern French city of Marseille Monday is a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin who told police he attacked in the name of the Islamic State (IS) group, according to a prosecutor.


The attack, which left the 35-year-old teacher with an injured hand and shoulder, occurred in broad daylight in the south of the city, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters Monday.

The 15-year-old ethnic Kurd rushed the victim from behind and stabbed him in the shoulder, then chased after him for a few metres until he fell, Robin said.

The victim fended off the assailant using his arms and legs, as well as his "holy book", which was damaged in the scuffle, the prosecutor said.

The teenage suspect "has the profile of someone who was radicalised on the Internet", Robin told a press briefing.

"He claimed to have been acting for Daesh," Robin said, using the Arabic acronym for the IS group.

"You get the sense that he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam," he added.

A good student radicalised online

The boy admitted to investigators that he planned to arm himself and kill police as soon as he is released, according to Robin.

The prosecutor said the teenager's family was unaware of his radicalisation and that he was a "good student".

"It appears there was a form of premeditation" with the intent of killing the victim because of his religion, Robin said.

The teenager, who will turn 16 next week, faces charges of "attempted murder on grounds of religion" and "defence of terrorism".

Reacting to the incident on Twitter, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, "The anti-Semitic aggression against a teacher in Marseille is revolting."

The teacher was on his way to work at the Franco-Hebraic Institute when he was attacked.

‘Revolting anti-Semitic aggression’

The incident came nearly two months after another assault, north of Marseille, in which three people shouting anti-Semitic obscenities and support for the IS group stabbed a Jewish teacher, injuring him in the arms, legs and stomach.

Tensions are mounting in France less than two months after attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris left 130 people dead. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the slashing as a "revolting anti-Semitic aggression".

Two churches were burned Sunday, and a boar's head and racist inscriptions were found Friday at Perpignan's main mosque. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning