From Moscow To A Rural Banlieue Itinerary Of A Lonely Jihadist

The cars on the nearby road the children down on the swings the revelry in the prison yard directly opposite

For a long time this was the daily soundtrack of Abdoullakh Anzorovs life in the block of flats where he lived with his family in Évreux a city of 50000 inhabitants with a Gothic cathedral and surrounded by the green Norman countryside 100 kilometers from Paris What he was hearing inside his head nobody knows for sure

Researchers and friends family and experts keep thinking about it

How and why intoxicated by Islamist ideology and spurred on by the campaign of a father unhappy with his daughters history and geography teacher on October 16 Anzorov decided to travel to ConflansSainteHonorine 80 kilometers from here and he beheaded Samuel Paty who in his classes on freedom of expression proposed to discuss the cartoons of Muhammad published in the weekly Charlie HebdoAfter facing the police he was shot dead by the officers

He was a calm and discreet guy respectful of the elderly says one of the four twentysomethings who met in a kebab on Friday afternoon The Anzorovs live nearby sandwiched between indistinct blocks Évreux prison and an area of motels and shopping centers

All four are Chechens and claim to have met the terrorist They work in construction or as security agents like many of their compatriots

They say that they did not come to France to seek trouble that they have nothing against this country and that they do not like the cartoons of Muhammad but that the law is the law here and is to be observed They prefer that their name does not appear in the newspapers

Someone influenced him adds the most talkative of them a muscular short boy with a full beard And this is an idea that is repeated in conversations

Abdoullakh Anzorov couldnt do it alone someone planted a seed in his brain Who The students father The preacher who together with his father lit the fuse of the social media campaign against Paty

The videos of beheadings in Syria and Iraq that have been circulating for years on the networks The jihadists he allegedly contacted in the Middle East The Islamism that advances in the neighborhoods and that promotes a victimhood that can turn into hatred

This is a story of the Chechen diaspora in Europe children and grandchildren of wars whose wounds are still alive Also that of a different type of terrorist from those responsible for the wave of attacks in France in 2015 and 2016

From what has been known so far the murderer of Professor Paty unlike the authors of the attacks over the years In recent years he was not under surveillance nor did he appear in the files of the information services nor did he belong to any structured network nor had he passed through Syria nor through jail

The specialist Hugo Micheron author of Le jihadisme français Quartiers Syrie prisons French jihadism Neighborhoods Syria prisons speaks in the daily Libération of individuals much more isolated than their predecessors psychologically fragile and intellectually less articulated schooled in France and children during the attacks from Charlie Hebdo or the Bataclan nightclub practitioners of what Micheron calls a lowcost jihad

The Anzorov family comes from Shalazhi a small town in western Chechnya where distant relatives still remain His grandfather Shamsudin Anzorov a farmer had three daughters and two sons

The family moved to Moscow when the Chechen authorities began to show interest in the two sons for having allowed Chechen separatist militants to take refuge in their home according to the Moskovski Komsomolets newspaper Abdouallakh Anzorov was born in Moscow in 2002

The familys destinies forked One of the daughters stayed in Russia Two others moved to Turkey Abdouallakhs father Abuezid ended up going to France with the family and his uncle Said to Austria

Later the brothers would meet in France where they were also joined by their grandfather who years ago had been a widow and had some ailments that his children wanted to be treated in this country

La Madeleine the district of public housing on the edge of the city of Évreux is a banlieue one of those neighborhoods where from the 1960s the state began to crowd immigrants Maghreb and subSaharan Africans first In the past decade the Chechens have joined

The Anzorovs expected a quiet life in La Madeleine a banlieue where a third of the inhabitants are foreigners and 80 of the 10500 inhabitants receive family allowances It is in this suburban and semirural France where the eldest son of this refugee family hatched his plan

As a teenager the future terrorist had had some runin with the police but had no criminal record Like many Chechens he was fond of wrestling and came to train at the Toulouse Lutte Club in the southern French city He took three test courses and given his lack of seriousness we asked him not to return He did not leave any memory he did not hang out with anyone says a club official in an email

On his Twitter account tchechene270 created in June a trace of his radicalization remained From there he spread Islamist messages Some were reported to the government platform Pharos designed to control illicit messages on the Internet

He also maintained contact through the networks with two jihadists in Syria according to leaks to the French press In late September he began searching for a target On three occasions according to Le Monde he asked for the identity and address of people who in his opinion had insulted his religion Islam on the networks The fourth time was the charm

When at the beginning of October he discovered the video in which the father of Samuel Patys student spread the schools address and the identity of the teacher he saw his opportunityThe students father is accused of complicity in a terrorist murder such as three friends of Anzorov in Évreux who accompanied him to buy the weapon or took him to the scene

In Évreux in front of the block where the Anzorovs live evening falls the neighbors return home the children still play on the swings The father said good morning and good night the boy was not seen so much The cables were crossed says a neighbor while repairing the truck in front of the portal Like all neighbors and acquaintances of terrorists he refuses to give his name

At this time a week ago the news broke and La Madeleine was suddenly on the map of French jihadism Someone influenced him insists one of the young Chechens who is holding a gathering in front of the neighborhood kebab If we had known we would have informed the police

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