A mayor in Paris is receiving federal protection after messages threatening to behead him were painted on walls, a disturbing threat that comes just days after a teacher was decapitated in a local suburb.
The messages very clearly stated: “Jeremy Breaud we will behead you!” French news magazine Paris Match reported that the graffiti message was discovered in three different locations around a Lyon suburb late last week. While they misspelled Mayor Jeremie Breaud’s name, the target and intent was still clear.
Gerald Darmanin, French Interior Minister, shared a message on his Twitter account on October 22 in response to the threat, offering his support to the mayor.
Menaces de mort à l’encontre du maire – « on va te decapiter ! » de Bron :
A ma demande, le préfet va saisir la justice et prévoir une protection de l’élu.
Soutien à ce maire, comme à tous les élus victimes de menaces.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) October 22, 2020
Translated from French to English, the message stated, “Death threats against the mayor – ‘we’re going to behead you!’ From Bron: At my request, the prefect will take legal action and provide protection for the elected representative. Support for this mayor, as for all elected officials who are victims of threats.”
Police are reportedly investigating the threats.
According to Match, the recently-elected mayor’s first reaction to the death threat was “a feeling of amazement and bewilderment.”
“I am not afraid and I will not give up anything,” Breaud said. “In Bron, we have increased the number of municipal police by 70 percent, reinforced video protection … we are fighting against drug trafficking…I think we are disturbing [the criminal activity].”
Following the recent beheading of a Parisian teacher coupled with these new threats, Breaud concluded that the French Republic had a new enemy that they could identify: radical Isalm.
“When we attack elected officials, but also firefighters, the police…it is the Republic that we are attacking,” Breaud said, before announcing his intention to file a complaint.
In response to the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty at the hands of an Islamist last week, Darmanin announced initiatives against radical Islam. The initiatives include police raids on individuals and organizations that supported the killer after the attack, as well as the state ending associations with extremist views.
One of the groups being considered for disbandment is the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). The CCIF is known for helping overturn the ban on Islamic swimwear “burkinis” after multiple local governments on the French Rivera banned them in 2016.
Along with the mayor, French media reported that several more teachers have been threatened with death this week, and while beheading is not specifically stated, the emails said the “Chechen diaspora (which) closely monitors all those who offend the Almighty.”