The man who police say beheaded a teacher in Paris on Friday had previously tweeted against Saudi Arabia in a Twitter thread on the same account he posted a photograph of the victim’s severed head.
Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Russian man with Chechen origins, decapitated 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty outside his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris. Minutes after the killing, Anzorov then posted a photo of Paty’s decapitated head on his account “@tchetchene_270” that was later suspended by Twitter.
Shortly after posting the image, French police confronted Anzorov, killing him after he shot at them with an airgun.
On September 13, Al Arabiya English received screenshots of a tweet thread in which the same account, identified by French police as belonging to Anzorov, tweeted against Saudi Arabia and its leadership, before later deleting the thread.
“Thread on the disbelief of the Saudi state, its leaders, and all those who support them,” read the first tweet of a long thread in which Anzorov attached a photo of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd with the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1987 with both the queens blurred out.
Using the Wayback Machine, a digital tool that archives snapshots of the internet, Al Arabiya English was able to verify the beginning of the thread using tweets of other users’ responses to Anzorov, but not the full thread.
“Among the apostates committed by the Saudi government is its participation in the founding of idols worshiped outside of Allah. Among these idols, there are: The UN, Unesco, the WTO, The Council of Gulf States, the Arab World League,” read one tweet from the @tchetchene_270 account.
“The alliance with the disbelievers: the abandonment of the jihad and the alliance with the crusaders disbelievers against the Taliban and against the Iraqis, the presence of American bases in Arabia, their fighter planes bombard the Muslims as well as the sending of gifts and food to the Crusader soldiers not to mention the oil they sell to these disbelievers, the 2003 alliance of Abdalla with Putin promising help against these Chechen bandits, this is how he treats our mujahideen and prohibiting all aid and du’a in the kingdom for our Chechen brothers. The least that can be said of this state is that it is traitor and hypocrite towards Islam,” read a broad translation of three tweets posted by Anzorov as part of his thread.
Using a Twitter advanced search of tweets sent by the account allegedly used by Anzorov on September 13, several twitter users responded to his thread on Saudi Arabia as well.
“Fear Allah and go learn what Allah said and the Prophet peace be upon him did and say,” wrote twitter user Mehdi Issa using the username @FRAPPAZ69.
A screenshot of Anzorov’s account taken by the “JihadiThreatMonitor” account showed that the @tchetchene_270 was created in June and had 129 followers and was following 40 accounts.
Some time after September 13 and before October 16, Anzorov deleted his thread on Saudi Arabia. The last known tweet Anzorov sent was of a picture of Paty’s head with a message reading: “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. From Abdullah, the Servant of Allah, To Macron, the leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hell dogs who dared to belittle Muhammed (peace be upon him), calm his fellows before you are inflicted harsh punishment.”
Paty, the teacher, had been the target of online threats for having shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. Thousands gathered in Paris to pay him homage after his death.
Saudi Arabia was one of the first to condemn Friday’s attack, with the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry tweeting that it “condemns and denounces the terrorist stabbing attack that took place in a suburb of the French capital Paris that claimed the life of a French citizen.”
The Mecca-based Muslim World League also condemned the attack, calling it a “terrorist incident.”
“Dr. Al-Issa affirmed that the practices of violence and terrorism are criminalized in all divine laws and are classified in the highest degrees of criminal abuse, calling for intensifying the efforts to eradicate terrorism and defeat extremist intellectual ideology that motivated these crimes,” the MWL’s statement published via the Saudi Press Agency read.
Spokesman for the Russian embassy in Paris Sergei Parinov said Anzorov and his family arrived in France when Anzorov was six and requested asylum. Anzorov was given a residence permit earlier this year and had no contact with the Russian embassy, according to the diplomat.