An 18-year-old Chechen accused of beheading a teacher near his school in a Paris suburb received asylum in France and had no links to Russia, a Russian diplomat said on Saturday.
“This crime has no relation to Russia because this person had lived in France for the past 12 years,” the spokesman for the Russian embassy in Paris, Sergei Parinov, told state news agency TASS.
Identifying the suspect – who was fatally wounded by police – as Abdullakh Anzorov, Parinov said his family arrived in France when Anzorov was six and requested asylum.
The young man received a residence permit this year, he added.
“He had no contacts with the (Russian) embassy,” Parinov said.
He said it was “important not where a person was born” but when and why he embraced “terrorist ideology.”
On Friday, 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty was decapitated outside his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of the French capital.
The attacker was shot by police as they tried to arrest him and later died of his injuries.
The teacher had been the target of online threats for having shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class.
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Saturday condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to Paty’s family but he also urged France not to “provoke” Muslims.
“Find it in you to admit that Muslims have the right to a religion, and no one can take it away!” he said in a statement on his Telegram channel.
Kadyrov said Chechens had nothing to do with the attack, stressing that Anzorov had been raised in France and visited Chechnya only once - when he was two years old.