A French teacher has reportedly made a false claim of being stabbed by an Islamic State terrorist, triggering a police manhunt and worldwide concerns of another organised attack.
The teacher, 45, retracted his claim of being attacked by a masked, knife-wielding assailant in a classroom at the Jean-Perrin nursery school, admitting the story was false, according to a French prosecutor.
The man, who has not been named, reportedly made the claim first via a social media account, saying the attacker shouted “This is for Daesh. It’s a warning”, the BBC reported.
The teacher, a resident of Aubervilliers, northeast of Paris, was hospitalised on Monday night (AEDT), reportedly with superficial wounds to his throat and abdomen.
His home town is reportedly less than five kilometres from the apartment of the suspected plotter of the French attacks of November 13.
The teacher was being questioned by police in relation to the incident, the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed to other media outlets.
Reports based on the man’s false testimony triggered concerns that another wave of attacks, similar to the organised terrorist incident in November, could be underway. France remains under a state of emergency as a result of those attacks on a stadium, theatre, restaurants and bars.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama claimed the Islamic State group is being hit “harder than ever” by air strikes — and that its leaders would be killed.
Mr Obama struck an optimistic tone in the press conference, telling the media on Tuesday morning (AEDT) that gains were being made against the terror group in Iraq and Syria.
“We are hitting them harder than ever,” said Mr Obama in his second appearance since the San Bernardino attack.
“As we squeeze its heart, we will make it harder for ISIS to pump the propaganda to the rest of the world.”
The President said the group’s leaders “cannot hide”, telling them directly: “You are next”.