'I brought France to its knees' French shooter declared before death
Militant Islam went on shooting spree, killing seven
A suspected al-Qaeda trained militant who went on a shooting spree in
France that killed seven people has come to a violent end in a police
shootout. Mohammed Merah was fatally shot in the head after commandos
opened fire after he shot at them.
Mohammed Merah had cited a variety of reasons for the killings, including France's ban on the wearing of Islamic veils, the missions of its troops abroad and the oppression of Palestinians.
Merah jumped out a window, still shooting, and was found dead on the ground, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said. Merah had only two bullets left in his gun when he was killed. He originally said he would surrender to police, but later vowed that he would resist and kill anyone who tried to take him into custody.
Merah was wanted in the killings of three French paratroopers, a rabbi and three children ages 4, 5, and 7 in a shooting spree that began March 11 and ended this week with the slaying of the rabbi and the children at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
Merah had cited a variety of reasons for the killings, including France's ban on the wearing of Islamic veils, the missions of its troops abroad and the oppression of Palestinians.
A police investigation turned up video recordings of the attacks, ammunition and ingredients for explosives after he was killed, Molins said.
In the video of the first shooting of a French soldier in Toulouse, Merah told the soldier, "You kill my brothers, I kill you." In another video showing how he gunned down two more French soldiers in Montauban, Merah is heard saying "Allahu Akbar," or God is great. Merah claimed to have posted the videos online, but investigations haven't yet found any conclusive evidence.
Merah had trained with al Qaeda in Pakistan's Waziristan region, bordering Afghanistan, and also spent time in Afghanistan.
Christian Etelin, a lawyer who represented Merah in an earlier incident involving a traffic accident, also said Merah went to Afghanistan two years ago. Etelin said that Merah was psychologically damaged.
"He was completely cut off from reality," Etelin told TV journalists.
Merah had been under surveillance by French intelligence for years, Interior Minister Gueant said. He had "already committed certain infractions, some with violence," Gueant said.
Gueant said Merah "wanted to avenge Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions."
Merah belonged to a group called Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Glory. The French government banned the group in January for trying to recruit people to fight in Afghanistan. The group issued a "chilling warning" on its Facebook page before it was banned this year, calling on supporters to attack Americans, Jews and French soldiers.
A French citizen of Algerian origin, Merah had boasted to police negotiators he had brought France to its knees and said his only regret was not having been able to carry out his plans for more killings.
"He has no regrets, except not having more time to kill more people and he boasts that he has brought France to its knees," Molins told a news conference.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Mohammed Merah, French, al-Qaeda, shooting spree, terrorism
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- Historic Meeting between Pope Francis and Coptic Patriarch, Tawadros II, Fosters Christian Unity
- Pope Francis Shakes up the Ambassadors Meeting and Addresses Economic Issues
- AU CONTRAIRE! Economic crisis has been 'pulling European public opinion apart'
- Pope Calls Whole Church to Encounter Jesus Christ Personally Through the Holy Spirit
- France ponder one percent 'Internet tax' to fund domestic computer production
- Pope Francis Canonizes 802 Saints: 800 Martyrs of Otranto and Two Latin American Foundresses
- Growth in Number of Catholics Worldwide, Along with Priests and Deacons
- Scientists confirm that Roman Empire was destroyed by plague
- Unemployed youth in Greece now above 60 percent
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?