The chief suspect in the murders of three French soldiers (2 North Africans, 1 Caribbean), and four Jews, including three children, is a 23 year old man named Mohammed Merah we are being told. The French interior minister, Claude Gueant alleges that the motive behind the attack was to,
“take revenge for Palestinian children” killed in the Middle East, and [he] was angry at the French military for its operations abroad.
The explanation of a motive will give little comfort to the bereaved families. How can Merah purport to be acting in the cause of Palestine when he TARGETED innocents? What demented, twisting acrobatics enabled him to let go of the innate morals within his humanity and kill children? Did he not realize he was betraying Islam, its core principles and the causes he claimed to be fighting for when he went on this killing spree?
The sort of callousness and cold precision with which he operated reveals the mind of a sickening sociopath.
Islamophobes in their haste had pinned their hopes on this murderer being a Muslim, so that they could once again smear and condemn Islam and Muslims. They attempt to minimize and cover for the role that occupation, war, invasion and murder plays in producing anger and…terrorists.
The double standards from them are expected, when an Anders Behring Breivik exterminates 60+ children he is, according to them, a “lone gunman,” a “nutter.” No discussion about the ideology, the anti-Muslim Islamophobic extremism that inspired Breivik’s terrorist Crusade, and which they propagate daily, is mentioned. When a US soldier goes on a rampage and eliminates 16+ civilians as they sleep, including 9 children we do not even learn their names and the soldier is treated with sympathy in the media and PRAISE amongst the Muslim haters.
If the allegations against Mohammed Merah are true, and they likely are, he should face the full brunt of the law for his crimes, but lets hope that the anti-Muslims do not attempt to use these horrific incidents to shift the focus from the true enemy, radical violent extremism whether Islamist (AlQaeda) or Radical Right (Anders Breivik, EDL, etc.). Life in Europe and particularly France, which is already seeing a campaign feeding off of right-wing populism and anti-Muslim rhetoric, will most likely get more difficult now.
What will be missing from all this is the fact that as long as wars of occupation, daily bombing and hate-mongering persist against Muslim majority nations you can rest assured that you will create more Mohammed Merah’s.
*Update I: If it’s not abundantly clear from the above, let me say it, Merah and the AlQaedah ideology is responsible for this crime, no one else, he stands completely condemned by Loonwatch as he does by nearly every honest and humane person. There is no apology above or blame shifting, just stating the facts. Merah himself claims to be acting out in revenge due to the killing of Palestinians and Afghans, I didn’t say this, the French Interior Minister did. Many seem to think we can’t even discuss the motives of these attacks?
Update II (via B-Boy Blue): Having tracked live updates on various online news outlets all day the contraditory information being released is painting a confusing picture of Merah’s background & history.
It was stated with some authority that he has been to Afghanistan & Pakistan to fight for the Mujehadeen. It was claimed that he’d actually been arrested, jailed & then escaped from prison in a Taliban jailbreak. Here are some excerpts:
“Reuters report that the suspect had been serving a three year sentence when he escaped from jail, quoting the director of Kandahar prison.”
“According to Reuters news agency, the head of Kandahar prison in Afghanistan, says the suspect Mohammed Merah, escaped from the prison in a mass Taliban jailbreak.”
“Details of the suspect’s time in Afghanistan are still sketchy, but Le Monde is reporting that he went twice to Pakistan, once in 2010 and again 2011, to speak with groups of fighters based in the tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan. The paper claims that he trained in the camps there alongside the Pakistani Taliban, foreign jihadis and members of the Haqqani network — and that he even crossed the border into Afghanistan as part of groups sent to fight Nato troops.
It says he is understood to have stopped off in Waziristan before heading to Kandahar and Zabul in the south of Afghanistan. Interestingly, it also says that he was stopped by police on the outskirts of Kandahar city. Although he was not arrested, his presence in the region as a foreign national was unusual enough for the police to report him to the Afghan intelligence services, who reportedly then passed on the information to western intelligence services.”
Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar provincial government, said:
I can’t confirm it was the same person but there was someone in Kandahar prison with the name Mohammed Merah, who was famous as ‘the French guy’. His father and grandfather had Afghan names, and he could pass as an Afghan. His father’s name was Mohammad Seddiq, grandfather was Mohammad Shah.
“His crime was that he was captured laying IEDs, and he was sentenced to three years in jail, but only served five months of it when the prison break happened and he escaped.
“We don’t know which part of Kandahar province he was caught in.”
Faisal added that he didn’t know how long Merah had been in Afghanistan or how long he stayed after prison break.
Lt Col Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the Nato-led coalition, said he was aware of reports that Merah had been held in an Afghan prison, but refered all questions to Afghan officials.”
This is all extremely detailed & seemingly conclusive. If it wasn’t for the fact the official twitter account of the Kandahar Governor’s Media office refuted the claim that he had been imprisoned there.
Security Forces in Kandahar have never detained a French citizen named Mohammad Merah.
@SkyNewsBreak He wasn’t the 1 responsible for the school shooting, but another 1 responsible for bomb blasts in Kandahar. 2 separate cases.
@MaryFitzgerldIT Toulouse gunman wasn’t arrested in Kandahar, he is not the one that escaped from Kandahar prison, perhaps names r the same.
It appears that a man with the same name was but not a French national. This fact calls into question many of the previous assertions & casts doubt on much of the official narrative up until this point.
Some other pertinent quotes to consider.
“As for political or religious beliefs, he was very discreet. He never said anything that might lead one to believe he had these views.”
“He didn’t have a dad. This has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, or with us, and I really hope that all the young people of our type of neighbourhood won’t be sullied by this.”
“He wasn’t into having fun, he became harder. He didn’t really go to the mosque, he seemed more likely to meet people in obscure flats.”
“The North African community is doubly hit, first by the grief for the victims and what happened, and also that we’re from the Magreb and people will be pointing fingers at us. I appeal to the French, don’t mix up the whole community with what has happened. Never never has Islam said to kill people.”
A group of four 24-year-old men who said they were friends of Merah tried to go to his apartment block on Wednesday to persuade him to surrender but were stopped at a police roadblock.
“All told a Reuters reporter he had never talked to them about religion and they had no idea he had been to Afghanistan.”
“He never spoke about Islam but he did pray. But we all pray five times a day. There’s nothing strange about that.”
Another friend of Moroccan origin said Merah had tried to enlist in the French army but had been rejected. He said he had seen Merah in a city centre nightclub just last week.
Merah did not drink “but I don’t think he is any more religious than I am. I think he has just lost the plot,” Danny Dem said.
A third contemporary, who declined to give his name, said he went to primary school with Merah and they had remained friends.
“He likes football and motor-bikes like any other guy his age,” said the man, dressed in a blue French national soccer shirt. “I didn’t even know he prayed.”
The head of the French Muslim Council, Mohammed Moussaoui, says: “These acts are in total contradiction with the foundations of this religion”. In remarks quoted by AFP he added: “France’s Muslims are offended by this claim of belonging to this religion.”
A little more background via AFP on the suspected gunman’s attempts to join the French military. The news agency reports that Merah “twice tried and failed to join the French army”.
It quotes the country’s defence ministry saying that Merah first tried to enlist at the age of 19 in the northern city of Lille in January 2008.
The French prosecutor, Francois Molins, has been giving more information on Merah. He told a press conference the suspect in the shooting attacks had been to Afghanistan twice and trained in Pakistan’s Waziristan, a militant stronghold. He said Merah’s brother had been implicated in a network that sent militant fighters to Iraq.
The French interior minister, Claude Gueant, said Merah had told police he belonged to al-Qaida and wanted to take revenge for the deaths of Palestinian children. Gueant said Merah was also angry against French military intervention overseas.
“The mystery here is that he was found to have quite a good arsenal of weapons, war weapons, and given that he was under surveillance it’s not clear how this could have escaped the attention of the authorities.” – Pierre Haski
Was he ever in Afghanistan or Pakistan? If not, why the claims of being under surveillance since returning? Who’s lying? The Government official or Kandahar Media Dept? With his Mother & siblings in precautionary custody surely they can establish his whereabouts during this period.
He has a history of petty theft & thuggery and no overt signs of religious or political militancy. Between 2007 and 2012 he attempted to join the French army twice & visited Pakistan & Afghanistan twice. He supposedly served 5 months in a Kandahar jail yet found his way back to France and was allowed to settle back into society whilst stockpiling weapons under surveillance. Despite being under suspicion for the murder of the soldiers, he was able to carry out the atrocity at the Jewish school.
As I write the siege is still in progress. If Merah doesn’t survive we’ll probably never find out exactly what is fact or fiction, which will no doubt fuel conspiracy talk. The web is already awash with speculation about false flag operations, inside jobs etc allowing Sarkozy to play the hero running up to the election.
What is certain, is that the only people who will suffer due to the actions of Merah and any repercussions are more innocents.
My thoughts are with the victims and their families.