This is about as bad as it gets – a teacher at a French preschool who claimed he was stabbed by a masked man who shouted “Islamic State”, has now admitted he actually made the whole thing up.
The teacher claimed he had been attacked this morning while alone in a classroom in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, which set off a manhunt across the French capital.
However, as reported by the BBC and other media outlets, prosecutors and Paris police have now revealed that the man fabricated the attack and actually slashed his own neck with a box cutter.
Given that France is still on high alert following the terror attacks in Paris last month which left 130 dead, plus ISIS recently urged its followers to attack teachers in France, the claims were treated very seriously indeed.
According to the teacher’s initial account, he claimed a man had attacked him with a box cutter shortly after 7am local time this morning and yelled: “This is for Daesh [Islamic State]. It’s a warning”.
Things got so serious earlier today that Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem visited the scene and vowed to increase security at French schools, while a spokeswoman for teachers’ union SNUipp admitted many teachers were alarmed by the threat.
The 45-year-old teacher has been treated in hospital for superficial wounds to his side and neck, and is now being questioned as to why he lied about the incident.
Whether this was a misguided effort to get a few days off work, or something more sinister in an attempt to cause panic across a nation or turn people against one another, it’s absolutely ridiculous that anyone would actually make something like this up.