This video is called Toulouse school shooting victims buried.
By Antoine Lerougetel in France:
Mohamed Merah’s family denies he was Toulouse, France gunman
31 March 2012
The family of Mohamed Merah, whom French police accused of carrying out a wave of deadly shootings in Toulouse and Montauban between March 11 and 19, has emphatically denied that he was a terrorist or carried out the killings. Merah was killed by an elite police unit after a 32-hour siege of his flat last Thursday.
His half-brother Rachid Merah, who lives in Algeria, told FranceInfo television: “I have no idea of what the media and the politicians are talking about. They say that Mohammed has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that he was in contact with Al Qaeda. But I categorically deny it. And I doubt whether he has had any links with Al Qaeda or the Taliban or any terrorist organisation in the world. And proof of that is that France killed him before he could speak in court, when they could have caught him alive.”
Rachid Merah’s comments come after similar questions were raised by police experts, such as Claude Prouteau of the Intervention Group of the National Gendarmerie (GIGN), who noted that the special police unit that killed Merah could easily have captured him alive. Instead, the police stormed Merah’s flat and killed him in a hail of nearly 300 bullets. During the siege, Interior Minister Claude Guéant nonetheless had asserted that everything would be done to capture Merah alive, so he could stand trial.
Commenting on the weapons and videos of the shooting that police reportedly found in Merah’s flat, Rachid Merah referred to well-publicized reports that Merah was functioning as an informer for French intelligence: “But as for the weapons we can suppose that he was manipulated by the French secret services, because he was young and easily influenced. They could well have bought him. They used him then they killed him. All scenarios are possible. Who can prove that Mohamed Merah filmed the videos [of the shootings] himself? It could well be someone else.”
Rachid Merah added: “You reap what you sow. They kill our children in Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, they should recognise their responsibility. The minister of the interior has said that Mohamed was a monster….but I reply that they have created this monster which killed children.”
Rachid Merah’s comments came after similar statements by Mohamed Merah’s father, Mohamed Benalal Merah. He said: “They should have arrested him and investigated the case with him. Perhaps it wasn’t he who killed them. By killing my son, the French security services have lost proof, and I have lost my son.”
These statements come as the state’s official version of events—that Merah was undetectable because he was a “self-radicalizing lone wolf” who behaved normally until he assassinated seven people—is being exposed as a fabrication. Instead, he was operating in close contact with French intelligence agencies and in direct collaboration with one and possibly several as-yet unidentified accomplices.
The main evidence used to incriminate Merah were the weapons found in his apartment, and the police’s claims that he confessed to the crime in negotiations and phone calls with them. This evidence has not been released to the public, however, and there is still room for doubt as to whether Merah in fact was the killer. An eyewitness of the Montauban shooting reported that the killer was stout and had a scarred, tattooed cheek—unlike the slim, smooth-faced Mohamed Merah.
French commandos deliberately killed alleged mass murderer Mohammed Merah rather than try to catch him alive, his family lawyer claimed yesterday: here.
Merah was not known for his piety: He did not belong to any religious congregation; he did not belong to any radical group or even to a local Islamic movement: here.
Statements by intelligence officials in Toulouse raise new questions about the French government’s responsibility in killings committed by Mohamed Merah: here.
French police detain 19 alleged Islamist militants: here.
- French ‘stopped tracking Merah’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Victims’ families demand inquiry into Toulouse murders (jta.org)