France: Paris Teacher Lied About ISIS Stabbing, Prosecutors Say

France: Paris Teacher Lied About ISIS Stabbing, Prosecutors Say

PARIS — The French authorities said on Monday that a Paris teacher who claimed to have been stabbed with scissors and a box cutter at a preschool near Paris had fabricated the story.

A police official in Aubervilliers confirmed that the teacher, who has not been identified, admitted to having invented the assault at the Jean Perrin preschool in Aubervilliers, a northern suburb of Paris.

It “was a fake attempt, done so that he could have himself transferred” to another job, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to reporters about the episode.

A spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office, Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, said earlier in the day that the victim, a 45-year-old male preschool teacher, had described the attacker as saying, “This is Daesh, this is a warning.” Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The teacher said that the assailant was wearing a balaclava and gloves and that he then fled.

The authorities took the teacher’s claim seriously, beginning a hunt for the assailant as the Paris prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation for attempted murder.

The teacher’s wounds were not life-threatening but he was still in the hospital, Ms. Thibault-Lecuivre said, before it was revealed that the attack appeared to be a hoax.

Based on information provided by the teacher, the top government official for the Seine-St.-Denis administrative department, Philippe Galli, told reporters that the assailant had entered the preschool around 7:10 a.m. and had attacked the teacher in his classroom with the box cutter and a pair of scissors that he had found on the school premises. The teacher had said that no children or other members of staff had been present at the time, Mr. Galli said.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French education minister, said that the authorities closed the preschool in response to news that there had been an attack, but that it would reopen on Tuesday. She said that the government would continue to bolster security in schools.

France has been under a state of emergency since coordinated attacks in and around Paris last month left 130 dead and more than 350 wounded. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the assaults, which involved several teams of gunmen and suicide bombers.

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