French teacher who invented ISIS attack is to have psychiatric tests

French police stand outside the nursery school on Dec 14, 2015.
French police stand outside the nursery school on Dec 14, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - A French nursery school teacher who invented a story that he had been stabbed by a man shouting about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has been taken to hospital for psychiatric tests, the prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

"A psychiatric evaluation will be made as soon as possible," the prosecutor's office said.

The 45-year-old man will not return to the school in Aubervilliers, north-east of Paris, the education ministry said.

The teacher had claimed that a man in overalls and a balaclava burst into his classroom early on Monday, grabbed a box cutter and scissors that he found in the room, and attacked him.

He claimed that the man shouted: "This is Daesh. This is a warning."

Daesh is another name for ISIS.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, security was raised at schools and Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem visited the institution concerned.

But later on Monday, prosecutors said the man had admitted inventing the story and cutting himself on the neck and side.

Police were said to be sceptical from the start about the claims of militant involvement, but with France on edge a month on from coordinated attacks by ISIS that killed 130 people in Paris, the investigation was immediately taken over by anti-terrorism prosecutors.

ISIS' French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam called in its November edition for its followers to kill teachers in the French education system, describing them as "enemies of Allah".