Mohammed Merah in photos – a history of violence
MOHAMMED Merah, 24, is suspected of having murdered four Jews, three of them children, as they arrived for class at the Ozar Hatorah secondary school in Toulouse. He did it, as he claims, to avenge the death of Palestinian children. (Did the UN’s Khulood Badawi inspire him with a falsehood?) He lives in Côte Pavée, a suburb of Toulouse. Mohammed Merah is a known criminal and an Islamic fundamentalist who has visited Afghanistan at least once.
Claude Guéant, the Interior Minister, says:
“He is talking a lot and he is very explicit about his reasons for attacking the school and says it was to avenge Palestinian children.”
Mohammed Merah is suspected of murdering Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and Miriam Monsonego, 7.
Mohammed Merah is also suspected of murdering Chief Sergeant Imad Ibn Ziahen, 30, of the 1st French Parachute Regiment, Corporal Abel Chenoulf, 24, and Corporal Loic Lieber, 28, of the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment. Another victim, Private Mohamed Legouad, 26, is badly injured in hospital.
Have Jews been targeted in France before? Yes:
April 2002 – Arsonists destroy the Or Aviv synagogue in Marseilles
May 1990 – Jewish graves are desecrated in the southern French town of Carpentras
August 1982 – Armed men attack a Jewish-run restaurant in central Paris, killing six.
April 1982 – Israeli diplomat Yacov Bar-Siman-Tov is murderd in Paris.
Police officers gather at the site of a shooting in Toulouse, southwestern France, Monday, March 19, 2012. A father and his two sons were among four people who died Monday when a gunman opened fire in front of a Jewish school in a city in southwest France, the Toulouse prosecutor said Monday. (AP Photo/Bruno Martin)