Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
My crystal ball says five more years of Sarkozy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:06:41 AM EST
My first thought: yep, that'll have Sarkozy on the warpath against immigration again.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All he needs do is look smug. His xenophobic pandering will now appear justified and really, quite moderate, considering.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:52:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say the good news is that this was resolved quickly - if this had dragged on it would have been really deleterious - and favorable to Sarkozy.

Now, let's see.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't the PS attack Sarko for failing in prevention or failing to track down the perpetrator before the Jewish school shooting?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they were aware of him then the security services are due a beating, However, the response to that is generally to blame weak laws that protect evil brown people.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:21:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is open debate, then that is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. But if Sarko just coasts on his security rep, avoiding debate, people will be impressed by the "speedy" police reaction, and the lack of surveillance will stay out of sight.

Of course, if the left were in government, we'd be hearing about lax, permissive, anything-goes unrealistic dreamers.

A lot depends on how Hollande plays it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:08:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko has already "congratulated the police on the speed of the investigation", and declared that "terrorism" will not "break up the national community".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:16:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tuerie de Toulouse : le candidat Sarkozy se prépare à engranger le succès du président | L'Elysée côté jardin Toulouse killings: Sarkozy the candidate is preparing to reap the success of the President
Ce mercredi 21 mars, Nicolas Sarkozy est chef de l'Etat, garant de l'unité et de l'autorité républicaines. Dès jeudi, la campagne reprendra ses droits. Et le candidat UMP à l'élection présidentielle récoltera le succès du président. Sans s'en vanter, car officiellement, le silence est d'or. La meilleure manière de "profiter" du dénouement de la tuerie de Toulouse, c'est de se taire. Ordre en a été donné aux troupes du parti majoritaire. "Aucun commentaire. Ce n'est ni l'heure ni le moment", note Brice Hortefeux, l'ami de M. Sarkozy.This Wednesday, March 21, Nicolas Sarkozy is head of state, guarantor of the unity and republican authority. By Thursday, the campaign will resume its rights. And the UMP candidate in the presidential election of the president will reap success. Without boast, because officially, silence is golden. The best way to "enjoy" the outcome of the Toulouse killings, is to remain silent. Orders have been given to the troops of the majority party. "No comment. This is neither the time nor the moment" , said Hortefeux, the friend of Mr Sarkozy.
Mais dès le lendemain, la campagne reprendra ses droits. M. Sarkozy compte convoquer à son QG le comité stratégique de campagne. Ses troupes ont prévu de maintenir le meeting à Strasbourg, jeudi. Dès mardi soir, un nouveau programme a été proposé au candidat.But the next day, the campaign will resume its rights. Mr Sarkozy intends to convene his campaign strategy committee at his headquarters. His troops are planning to keep the scheduled meeting in Strasbourg on Thursday. By Tuesday evening, a new campaign schedule was proposed to the candidate.
by Bernard on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
En direct. Le contact entre le Raid et le suspect est rétabli - Libération Live. The contact between the Raid and the suspect is restored - Liberation
13h22. Louis Aliot, vice-président du FN, estime que les déclarations de Claude Guéant selon lesquelles le suspect des tueries de Toulouse et Montauban était surveillé par la DCRI «laissent planer un doute» sur l'efficacité de la lutte contre les réseaux islamistes. 1:22 p.m.. Louis Aliot, vice president of FN, considers that Claude Guéant's statement that the suspect for the killings of Toulouse and Montauban was monitored by the DCRI "casts doubt" on the effectiveness of the fight against Islamist networks.

Louis Aliot (a "local", for some years a teacher at Toulouse University) is Marine Le Pen's partner irl. They make a lovely couple.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
56-44 is a big gap.
by redstar on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LePen is having a field day attacking Mélenchon and Bayrou in the campaign leading to the first round, and this time around it's possible that her voters will come out for Sarkozy in the second round.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That could be, though I am not sure how that works in the grand scheme...she'll probably get some votes back from Sarko that were bleeding his way, maybe some from Mélenchon that were bleeding his way too. And as you point out, the 20% she might end up getting now will break more favorably for Sarko in the second round.

Problem is, assuming Sarko gets 30% in the first round, he is going to need to get close to 100% of Le Pens votes in the second. He's tracking more like 40% right now. And that simply is not going to happen.

And Bayrou voters are even less inclined to go to Sarko in the second round than Le Pen voters.

I still think Hollande has this locked, and am more watchful of what happens to Mélenchon, who was rising in the polls (and who I thought might get 15-20%)...

by redstar on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:49:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question that I've been asking myself is whether Sarkozy isn't playing with fire on the immigrant bashing.  

After all if you really agree with what he's (now) saying why vote for Sarkozy when you can have the real thing (Le Pen)?

If there is a real 9/11 style backlash in the country, who's to say that Le Pen won't get a second look?

In a 5 way race, the impact of random events like this becomes much harder to model.  Because it isn't simply that a particular opponent losing a voter means that you are likely to gain them. In a 5 way race  a shift in voters summing to five percent may mean:

* a major candidate is bleeding support to another major candidate
*a major candidate is gaining support from another major candidate

  • a major candidate's voters are diffusing out to the minor candidates
  • the minor candidates are losing voters to one of the major candidate.

And that's the simple stories. I hesitate to even guess who will make it to the second round, because the numbers are close enough that something like this shooting can unsettle things. In a race with five candidates polling over over 10% and the top two under 30%, small movements can dramatically change the playing field.  And this is after we acknowledge the shortcomings of polling:

* +/- 3% means that that 10-15% gap between the first and second tier may be as little as 4-9% in reality *that a 95% confidence interval implies that even perfectly designed polls may be total bullshit 1/20 times
*the human factor in which the support of candidates may be under/overrated based upon the social acceptability of being a supporter

It's a bit like Russian roulette.  5 times out of 6 things going as expected, but that 1 time out of six, things may really not go as expected. And events like these shootings are like pulling the trigger.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that things are very fluid now.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The movement was already to a shrinking of the gap. I expect it to continue. Though that doesn't mean the election is called. Just that I'd say Sarko now has the psychological advantage.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recuperation is full directions:

Found in Yves Michaud's blog on Liberation today:

la déclaration de Mélenchon ce matin est ignominieuse avec son double bind si typique du personnage. Lisez bien et croyez-en vos yeux. Je recopie:

« L'identification du criminel dégénéré qui nous défiait est une bonne nouvelle », déclare Jean-Luc Mélenchon. « Dorénavant, notre premier devoir est de lutter contre les assimilations et stigmatisations haineuses à qui cette situation pourrait servir de prétexte ».

The statement this morning by Mélenchon is ignominious with his double bind so typical of the character. Read carefully and trust your eyes. I copy:

"The identification of the criminal degenerate who defied us is a good news," said Jean-Luc Melenchon. "Now, our first duty is to fight against stigma and hateful assimilations to which this situation could lead."



A free fox in a free henhouse!
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michaud reads like a lily-livred bed-wetter who almos almays miss the point completely and who one often finds on the pages and blogs of Libé, Quatremer being a prime example.

Libé, je m'en torche le cul.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All information received by journalists is from the mouth of Interior Minister Claude Guéant.

The killer is of French nationality, born in Toulouse, forename Mohammed.

He claims to have shot the soldiers to protest against the French army being in Afghanistan, and the Jewish children to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children.

His brother is in custody, without this implying he is an accomplice, or in what degree. His mother was also taken to the house where he's holed up, but she refused to talk to him, saying she had no influence whatsoever on him.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:11:02 AM EST
The area is the Côte Pavée, close to the town centre. The "suspect" is on the ground floor of an apartment building, the other inhabitants hiding away in their apartments.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was what helped the police on the tracks of the killer - his IP number was identified as linked to a small ad for the sale of a scooter to the first soldier who was shot.

That may (or not) make him a accomplice.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explosives found in brother's car. (14.30 CET)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The brother is "considered also a Salafist".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVE: Police say besieged gunman to surrender today - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
-The man is reportedly Mohammed Merah, a 24-year-old French national of Algerian background.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:14:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman wins the Sherlock of the Month Award.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:19:40 AM EST
Let's add Conspiracy Theorist of the month too: isn't this incredIbly convenient for a desperate Sarko?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:17:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My crystal ball says the campaign just tipped right over.

As to facts, only Bayrou and Mélenchon had made any declarations during the "truce" (still being observed by Sarko and Hollande). They said, pretty much, that there would have to ba a debate about the setting, the atmosphere, in which these killings took place - understand, the deliberate pandering to xenophobia of the right.

Marine Le Pen has now come right back in saying that Bayrou and Mélenchon have disqualified themselves from the election by their obvious wish for a racist motive and their finger-pointing. And that the needed debate is on the return of capital punishment.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:27:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that the needed debate is on the return of capital punishment

Yes, I'm certain that offering the martyr expedited shipping to paradise will really prove a deterrent.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conspiracy: wow this would be a really big one. If so, it would have been very difficult to operate. Planting a lone nutter at a spot where a major political figure can be conveniently shot is one thing. Setting this killer off over several attacks, without leaving any traces, seems to me like another.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:30:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The FBI do this sort of thing all the time - in fact most US terrorism prosecutions since 9/11 seem to have the pattern of FBI finding a group of Walter Mittys, giving them encouragement and a plan and tools to look credible about executing it and then arresting them for it.

The hard bit would be not being caught doing it - the risk of exposure from the agents used would be very high and the downside catastrophic.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but this one went through with it and did 3 hits, one of which I'm pretty sure the FBI would not have allowed to happen.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:57:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They'll screw one up eventually.

I'm not seriously suggesting a conspiracy, obviously, though I suppose it's possible that a little bit of pre-9/11 style negligence may have gone on. That's much more likely than an active conspiracy.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More likely and much easier to handle.

It's always possible they didn't consider him a threat, see personality testimony below.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, a terror attack was one of the things that wandered through my mind when I asked last week what desperate ploy Sarko would come with next.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a pity the Canard Enchaîné went to press yesterday. Next issue, Wednesday 28th. Because, if there are any (substantiable) hints or whisperings, they will print them.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A good reason for them to start a website....
by gk (gk) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:48:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their business model, selling paper, works A-OK.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:09:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can take a look at their front page on their site:
http://lecanardenchaine.fr/une4769.html

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll add to that:

I call bullshit on this story on grounds that they're claiming there was an al-Qaeda operative roaming around southern France with a revolver and a Vespa.

Everybody knows terrorists use AK47s and Land Cruisers.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, he did have a Uzi, surely that counts almost as much as a Kalash'? And the 'scooter' he had was a very powerful one - a large motorbike, in practice.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Friggin' Europeans.  Even the terrorists are lazy socialists over there.

;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 02:53:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I remember correctly, we were taught that it was rather unreliable, just the opposite of the AK-47.
by gk (gk) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 03:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merah claims to have a Kalash with him.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 02:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems he was on the list of the DCRI (counter-intelligence) from the first murder of a soldier in Toulouse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:26:06 AM EST
Having been "several times" to Afghanistan/tribal areas.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And he was allowed to strike twice, let alone three times?

I suppose as long as he was killing blacks and arabs it was okay?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:53:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being on a list (who knows how long) doesn't equal identification. However, one may wonder that someone who had been several times on "training" in the tribal zone was not more closely watched.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I think one lone nutter isn't enough to change what people know and dislike about Sarkozy and his economic policies. I'll be anxious to see the next polls.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:00:28 AM EST
As said on Monday:

A swedish kind of death:

Problem is, that right-wing nutters are generally described as alone, while left-wing or islamic nutters are part of a vast conspiracy.
by Bernard on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:42:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No further news yet.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:18:27 AM EST
Radio reports say he is talking a lot (also firing and has injured RAID police ie SWAT-type commando). He claims to be acting for Al Qaeda and the "moudjahiddin", and to have visited the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
I hope they don't kill him, as dead men tell no tales, but I suspect he might end up killing himself.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:40:11 AM EST
He has apparently stated he will surrender "this afternoon". Which may mean he wants to buy time to go out with a bang.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:21:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope that doesn't mean a repeat of Madrid's suicide explosion, after the 2004 train attacks.
by Nomad on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Madrid bombers blew themselves up when the police tried to arrest them in their flat.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's now reported that the other inhabitants of the 4-storey building have been evacuated.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just what Europe needed.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 04:42:07 AM EST
Could be worse.  If it'd be the US or UK, there'd be telescreens in all of our houses by this time next week.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:11:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le monde liveThe world live
La candidate écologiste Eva Joly a réagi aux événements ce matin en attaquant Nicolas Sarkozy et le gouvernement, dans l'émission Les quatre vérités :The Green candidate Eva Joly has responded to this morning's Nicolas Sarkozy by attacking the government, on the program "the four truths":
"Il y a clairement eu des discours discriminants et stigmatisants de la part de Nicolas Sarkozy et de la part de Claude Guéant. Cela n'arrange rien. Je pense qu'il y a eu beaucoup de discours stigmatisant, je pense que nous sortons d'une période de cinq années où on a monté les Français les uns contre les autres"."There was clearly discriminatory and stigmatizing discourses on the part of Nicolas Sarkozy and the part of Claude Gueant. This does not help. I think there was much stigmatizing talk, I think we are coming out of a period of five years where we set up the French against each other. "
Suite aux événements des derniers jours, Eva Joly souhaite que se dégage dans le pays une volonté de "vivre ensemble pour un projet collectif pour la paix". Elle a espéré également que "ces événements si douloureux, nous aident à mieux vivre ensemble et ne nous divisent pas".Following the events of recent days, Eva Joly hope emerges in the country a will to "live together for a collective project for peace". She also hoped that "these painful events, help us live better together and not divide us."


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:47:57 AM EST
The Empire strikes back The Empire strikes back
Le Front national s'en est pris mercredi matin "aux salauds" qui ont, selon lui, "instrumentalisé la tragédie de Toulouse" contre le FN et Marine Le Pen, sa candidate à l'élection présidentielle. "A l'attention de Mme Buffet, de MM. Mélenchon, Bayrou, Sopo et autres : vous avez cru pouvoir misérablement instrumentaliser la tragédie de Toulouse contre le Front national" et Marine Le Pen, écrit le FN en tête d'un communiqué intitulé "Aux salauds". "Votre entreprise visant à tenter de traîner dans la boue 20% de Français à raté. Vous avez essayé d'ajouter à l'horreur du drame votre mauvaise vindicte politique", poursuit le FN, qui demande aux personnes citées de "présenter des excuses" au FN et à ses électeurs et de se "taire pendant un long moment".The National Front attacked Wednesday morning "to the bastards" who, he says, "exploited the tragedy of Toulouse" against the FN and Le Pen, its candidate for president. "For the attention of Mrs Buffet, MM. Mélenchon, Bayrou, Sopo and others: you thought miserably to exploit the tragedy of Toulouse against the National Front" and Marine Le Pen, the FN wrote the head of a press release entitled "To the bastards." "Your side tried to drag in the mud 20% of French people and missed. You tried to add drama to the horror of your bad political vindictiveness," the FN, which asks the persons cited to "apologise to the FN and its electors and to" keep quiet for a long time. "


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:51:53 AM EST
I don't suppose that people couldn't distinguish between a Islamist and a far-right attack gave them any pause?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never. Nothing will shake the dogma that the Islamist killer is typical for Islam, and the far-right killer is deranged. That makes them completely different.
by Katrin on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's time for... Eurabia = Europe sucks (by Jerome a Paris on June 25th, 2006)

Also, Debunking Eurabia by Gag Halfrunt on November 19th, 2007

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:41:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the BBC, who are quoting the French interior minister, Claude Guéant, the suspect is negotiating with police and has thrown a Colt 45 pistol out of the window (police have previosuly identified a .45 calibre pistol as a weapon used in all three attacks).

Following the murders, he was apparently planning to join the Mexican Revolution.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:09:49 AM EST
He exchanged the Colt 45 for a direct line to police, apparently.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the assassin called France24 yesterday and told the same things about his motivation as revealed by police.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:11:42 AM EST
Someone did, maybe the killer.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They claim the caller identified objects at the scenes of the crimes to prove his identity.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 08:59:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen confirmation, but it probably was him.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting descriptions from those who know Mohammed Merah (my translations from Libé):

"Samir":
"He's a believer but non-practising. He did Ramadan, that's all. He had a red Mohawk last summer. More than "fashion", he was a punk. Physically, he's slim, 1m75, a face like an 18-year-old kid. I've never seen him with tattoos or a scar on his face [supposedly seen by an eye-witness], yet I saw him last Saturday".

"Kamel":
"I don't want him to get shot because we'll never know why he did that. I saw him in a nightclub three weeks ago, he was smoking a chicha (water pipe). You go to nightclubs, you're not a Salafist".

His lawyer (who has represented him previously in driving offences - oddly, this is a well-known Toulouse lawyer):
"...fragile personality... discreet, polite and courteous... flexible behaviour, smooth, and not rigid in a way that might suggest fanatism..."

Other friends:
"...a nice guy, calm, the youngest brother. He likes football, motorbikes, cars, and girls. He had no particular link to religion, didn't wear a beard, went to nightclubs."

"I saw him on Sunday, he was calm, normal. We never talked about politics."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:34:30 AM EST
Ministry of Defence says Mohammed Merah twice tried and failed to join the military, in 2008 the Army, in 2010 the Foreign Legion.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So he's either a reasonably serious operative or there's something weird going on here?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:49:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what sort of serious operative will use his brother's internet connection in connection with an attack?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He also went to Yamaha a couple of weeks ago to ask for advice on how to turn the anti-theft GPS tracker off on his super-scooter.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I read earlier today that he apparently went recently to a Yamaha dealership to try to change the color of the (stolen) scooter...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he's bullshitting about Al Qaeda now that he's been caught?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:58:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda is more an ideology than an organization nowadays.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reasonably serious as in was trained to hide his fanatism...

Or there's something weird.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or he was a pretty average guy who, when he snapped went to the popular narrative that told him how he, given his background was supposed to snap.

As to why somebody snappes, there are all kind of reasons. Maybe he had tried to get rich quick by scams, and it was all falling apart? Like the nutter who shot people in Afghanistan.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:35:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would qualify as "weird", in my world.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:43:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Fox News is weird:


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot tell if that is a photoshopped joke or not. I give up.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:15:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarah Palin not counting out a White House run in 2012? That must be a photoshopped job.
by gk (gk) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And none of the viewers would realize the dot was not in France.

"The Netherlands?  Ain't t'at where Peter Pan come from?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:30:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another dispatch in the Guardian:


A 25-year-old French man, whose parents were born in Algeria, said: "I grew up with him. I'm totally shocked and surprised, I can't believe that he could do this. His mum was French of Algerian origin -- she brought him up alone. 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. It has always been hard enough living in France with prejudice but now it's going to be much worse."

Another man who said he was 24 and a warehouse worker, but did not give his name, said he knew the family, in particular the suspect's brother. He said: "I came down here because I wanted to see what was going on. I heard someone at work listening to the news say this morning, 'It's an Arab, It's an Arab' ... He was the kind of kid who got into trouble, but he was a banal young guy. Over the past two years he had changed a lot. 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."

(...)

One woman said: "I knew his family and his mother, his father had died. There was nothing to suggest he would have acted like this. 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."



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of these witnesses, however, knew he had been to Afghanistan. Which he did several times. Was arrested in Kandahar for placing bombs and sentenced to three years (?WTF!). But broke out of prison when the Taliban attacked it in 2008. Was apparently again arrested in 2010.

So was living a Walter Mitty, in fact.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:37:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All of that before the age of 21?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libé says that he became radicalized in 2005-2006, "during a prisons stay" - as he was born in 1988 it means he was in jail as a minor (for "petite délinquance" i.e. misdemeanors)

But what are the chances this opens the debate about whether it makes sense to put young people in jail (one of the planks of Sarkozy's tough guy programme)...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:51:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So basically a filthy little youth thief, the kind who robs other youths of their mobile phones and old ladies of their purses, who suddenly finds something to believe in, goes to AfPak, meets people who think like himself, then heads home and starts a rampage. Probably not a very clever guy. That's my theory at least.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He may not be too clever, but neither is that theory.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:30:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We'll see.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I have a feeling that this is not a guy who's been in court one time or two times or three times, but rather a dozen, or dozens.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:38:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why he was able to kill three soldiers and injure a fourth in two separate attacks before the security forces knew what hit them?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that was probably because he ambushed them. Anyone can pull out a gun and kill the most elite soldier, if they're not expecting it.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean it must have been the shock value of the school shooting that mobilised the police. If they were on his trail already yesterday, what prevented them from doing the same after the second attack on the 15th?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 03:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Told you so...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll interpret things that way, if you wish. I have seen no evidence he was robbing old ladies. His latest conviction was for driving without a licence. It is said he once worked for a time in car body repairs. Probably more then, in the car and motorbike theft business.

But the "suddenly finds something to believe in" oversimplifies the identity crisis of young Arab Muslims in a society that stigmatizes them.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High achiever, obviously.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All in all, there are some weird things here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone of the same name was arrested and jailed in Kandahar in 2007, and broke out in 2008. But it wasn't him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm getting that from Libé. Where did you see that it wasn't the same guy?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:53:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.lemonde.fr/popup/live/1671851/

The original report was :

Le Monde.fr:
Selon le directeur de la prison afghane de Kandahar, Ghulam Faruq, cité par l'agence Reuters, Mohamed Merah a été arrêté en décembre 2007 après avoir posé des bombes dans la région de Kandahar et condamné à une peine de trois ans de prison.

 Il se serait échappé en juin 2008, lors de la prise d'assaut de l'établissement par un commando taliban. Près d'un millier de prisonniers, dont une moitié de talibans, avaient alors pris la fuite.

So, at the age of 19, he was already an explosives expert in Afghanistan?

The provincial government of Kandahar denies it's him:

   
Le Monde.fr:
Le bureau de communication du gouvernement provincial de Kandahar, en Afghanistan, dément que Mohamed Merah se soit échappé en juin 2008 de la prison de Kandahar.
mercredi 21 mars 2012 13h55 Le Monde.fr
13h55

Twitter   
KandaharMediaOf:
@MaryFitzgerldIT Toulouse gunman wasn't arrested in Kandahar, he is not the one that escaped from Kandahar prison, perhaps names r the same.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The police are now saying (France Inter news) he went to Afghanistan twice since 2010.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a suggestion or a report? I was thinking this was probably the case.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A French citizen?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see what any of this has to do with anything. For example, are murderers also guilty of littering? Probably not.

There is an overall set of social behaviors that people adhere to, and going off track on one of them does not imply going off track on all of them. And vice versa.

by asdf on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You might expect an extremist to act extreme, no?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:11:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, in his narrow area of interest. But he can still like girls and bars and whatnot..
by asdf on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nocolas Sarkozy is now on the spot, so we may expect the endgame soon.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:44:31 AM EST
Claude Guéant issues denial that the suspect has been arrested.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:01:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He should be in Montauban for the national honours funeral of the three dead Arab soldiers. Everyone is waiting for him while he is in Toulouse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:04:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's reassuring, in a way : they are not in control of the timing, or rather, they decided not to launch a spectacular assault for the telly.

They're trying to talk him out without further shooting, it seems.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko now in Montauban.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The head of the regional Jewish representative council says she learned from Sarko that the suspect was ready to kill again today.

A "source close to the investigation" says it was a soldier he was going to shoot.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 10:57:55 AM EST
[ET Moderation Technology™]

I added a link to Libé's live coverage to the diary, under the fold.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He told them he was off to shoot a soldier? His brother told them? They found his diary?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
15h47. Le suspect s'apprêtait à tuer un militaire mercredi, selon une source proche de l'enquête.

15h32. Le suspect au scooter «allait tuer encore (mercredi) matin à Toulouse», déclare la présidente du Crif en Midi-Pyrénées, Nicole Yardeni, qui s'exprimait à l'issue d'un entretien avec Nicolas Sarkozy.

Selon la représentante locale du Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France, le chef de l'Etat a fait cette annonce lors d'un entretien avec les communautés religieuses à la caserne Pérignon, non loin de l'endroit où Mohamed Merah était toujours retranché mercredi en milieu d'après-midi. «Il avait déjà un plan pour tuer encore», «il était prévu pour lui de tuer ce matin», a ajouté Mme Yardeni sans plus de précision.

The local head of the Council of Jewish Institutions, coming out of a meeting with Sarko. No time for translation. link

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:04:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, saw that. Doesn't answer rhetorical question, as far as I can see.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:08:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is claimed he told the police. Was also prepared to kill two policeùen today, had identified all three of his victims.

It sounds as if he's bragging. Said he "has brought France to its knees".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:37:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has he demanded a medal and to be named supreme commander? If so, Breivik wants his lines back.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The public demands a Breivik-Merah cage fight.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 01:01:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't say how they know this. Could be simple extrapolation from his behaviour in the past, i.e. an attack every 3 or 4 days.
by gk (gk) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFP says that he told the police this morning that he had planned to kill another soldier and had 'already identified him'.

The journalists say that dialogue between the guy and the police has continued almost uninterrupted for the past 12 hours.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:16:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My taxi driver yesterday morning happened to mention that he'd seen the police stop a white rental van and take a motor scooter out of it.

Apparently Merah has been seen driving around, fast, in a white van (I read this somewhere, can't find it now)

Either that's a coincidence, or it would seem to indicate that the cops have been on his trail since yesterday morning.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:36:42 AM EST
My taxi driver yesterday morning happened to mention that he'd seen the police stop a white rental van and take a motor scooter out of it.

See on TV, presumably?

Or, what are you doing in Montauban?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:38:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was in Toulouse yesterday for work.

No, the driver was reporting what he'd seen. I saw nothing of interest, myself.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 11:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France Inter news says he was identified yesterday morning.

They moved in at 3.30 am in hopes of surprising him in his sleep. No luck, he fired on them, injuring two.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:39:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty much a quiet standoff for now. He has said he will surrender later this evening. Meanwhile, nothing happening.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:45:15 PM EST
France faces home-grown terror


France was on Wednesday confronting the emergence of home-grown Islamist terrorism on its soil following the brutal killing of seven people, including three children, by a 23-year-old French citizen who was holding out in a flat surrounded by police in the southern city of Toulouse.

(...)

Unlike its neighbours in the UK and Spain, France has managed to avoid successful jihadist attacks on its home soil since Al Qaeda carried on the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.
French security services, using tough anti-terror laws, have been praised for rooting out potential home-grown terrorists, but Mr Merah was able to mount the attacks despite being known to the police and security services.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:59:28 PM EST
France has been faced with domestic islamic terrorism since long before it was fashionable. Khaled Kelkal was killed in 1995, just a few km away from my usual commute.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm at a loss as to which part of France faces home-grown terror is false.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
France was on Wednesday confronting the emergence of home-grown Islamist terrorism on its soil

... pretty clearly implies something new.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 07:29:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a hate crime, not "terror" (whatever that is - is it that I'm terrified that this could help Sarkozy win?). As to "homegrown" what is that supposed to mean.

And the basic premise of the article, which leads to that title, is that France did not have to face this before - when it's only been 30 years that this has been faced.

You can argue that they should have found the guy a few days earlier, but it was a matter of days - this was a crime, and good police work, before and after, resolved it.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"terror": now you are denying a political motive to the killings.

"homegrown": the suspect was born and raised in France.

"France faces homegrown terror" vs. "ho-hum about foreign-inspired hate crime" ?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"terror": now you are denying a political motive to the killings.

So what's the line between a hate crime and a political one? How do you even know this one is political?


"homegrown": the suspect was born and raised in France.

But why is that news? It's a crime that happened in France, it's not surprising that the criminal is French.


 "ho-hum about foreign-inspired hate crime" ?

What's foreign-inspired about it?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:04:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you even know this one is political?

I'm just taking the reported claims of motive at face value: French military presence in Afghanistan, plight of Palestinians.

If it's not political, what do you think the motive is?

What's foreign-inspired about it?

So it's neither "homegrown" nor "foreign"?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm saying "homegrown" is true but not newsworthy as such. I don't know about foreign influence yet.

Is trying to brign the deficit down today acting under "foreign influence"? Or is it just predominant global memes that influence people all over the world?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently, nothing ever happens in France.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently, the Anglo-Saxon media thinks France didn't face Islamist terrorism before, including homegrown.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, misinterpreting my comments, as you like to do now and then.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:29:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The difference between hate crime and terrorism is quite simple. A hate crime is a crime which is comitted because you hate somebody for a number of specified reasons (ethnicity, sexual orientation etc). Terrorism is something completely different, as the main wished effect of the terror is not to cause physical devastation (that is the means), but to cause political changes through fear.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then it is the response of media, police and right-wing politicians which turns ordinary crime into terrorism - they are the ones who whip up fear which is out of any reasonable proportion to the actual threat posed, in order to further their partisan agenda.

Why not skip the middle-man and say that it is the political police and the right-wing politicians who are the terrorists, then?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 03:16:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at all! It doesn't depend on the reporting, but on the motivation of the perpetrator. Remember how Margaret Thatcher tried to strangle reporting on IRA terrorism to make it less effective. That didn't stop it from being terrorism.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 04:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has become essential part of the political (and media) response to acts of terrorism to ignore the statements of political motive by the perpetrators. As if listening to what a terrorist has to say were equivalent to giving in to their demands.

Sarkozy said yesterday at a campaign rally that Merah was "not a madman" but "a monster" and that "looking for a motive would be a moral mistake".

But that's politics, not policy, nor criminology.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quotes:
Nicolas Sarkozy a qualifié jeudi Mohamed Merah de «monstre» et de «fanatique», estimant que ce serait une «faute morale» de vouloir «chercher une explication» au geste de l'auteur des sept assassinats à Montauban et Toulouse, tué dans un assaut du raid. «Ces crimes ne sont pas ceux d'un fou. Un fou est irresponsable. Ces crimes sont ceux d'un fanatique et d'un monstre», a déclaré le président-candidat lors d'une réunion publique à Strasbourg.

«Chercher une explication au geste de ce fanatique, de ce monstre, laisser entrevoir la moindre compréhension à son égard ou pire lui chercher la moindre excuse, serait une faute morale», a développé Nicolas Sarkozy, qui a repris sa campagne qu'il avait suspendue lundi. «Mettre en cause la société, montrer du doigt la France, la politique, les institutions, ce n'est pas digne. Ce n'est pas faire preuve d'un esprit de responsabilité dans un moment où la Nation a d'abord besoin d'unité», a poursuivi le chef de l'Etat devant 9'000 personnes selon l'UMP.

Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday described Mohamed Merah as a «monster» and «fanatic», suggesting that it would be «a moral error» to want to «look for an explanation» to the actions of the author of seven murders in Montauban and Toulouse, and who was killed in a RAI assault. «This crimes are not those of a madman. A madman is irresponsible. This acts are those of a fanitic and a monster», declared the presidential candidate during a public rally in Strasbourg.

«To look for an explanation to the acts of this fanatic, of this monster, to allow a glimpse of a minimum of understanding or worse to look for the smallest excuse, would be a moral error», argued Nicolas Sarkozy, who resumed his campaign suspended on Monday. «To put society under question, to point the finger at France, politics, institutions, is not dignified. It's not demostrating a spirit of responsibility at a moment when the Nation is in need of unity», continued the Head of State before 9000 people according to the UMP.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:19:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
«To put society under question, to point the finger at France, politics, institutions, is not dignified. It's not demostrating a spirit of responsibility at a moment when the Nation is in need of unity»

Translation: "I don't want you to look at my monumental, serial cock-ups and flat-up stupid policies that lead to this incident. I want National UnityTM (except for the brown people, who are not part of the Nation - they just live here)."

- Sarko

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But clearly the right-wing noise makers are still exploiting fear of violence that they themselves, ultimately, created in order to promote their partisan policy agenda.

Does it make that much of a difference whether it was their own finger on the button, when political violence was the predictable and natural reaction to their policies of systematic disenfranchisement and immiseration of large population subgroups?

Or is it sufficient excuse that they are too stupid and short-sighted to realise that it is their own policies which create the objective and subjective conditions for violent backlash?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:33:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But clearly the right-wing noise makers are still exploiting fear of violence that they themselves, ultimately, created in order to promote their partisan policy agenda.
Does it make that much of a difference whether it was their own finger on the button, when political violence was the predictable and natural reaction to their policies of systematic disenfranchisement and immiseration of large population subgroups?

That you can not blame just on the right. It is the responsiblity of the entire French nation. It goes back a very long way.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 07:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In previous discussions, we were leaning towards the view that rightwing racist violence was never called "terrorism" (whereas it should be). Now we know that this was rightwing religious extremist violence, I can't see why it should not be called "terrorism" either. Conspiring in Waziristan to commit murderous and terrifying attacks in France may properly be called "terrorism", which in no way excludes "hate crime", and vice versa. So arguing that this is not "terror" seems to me a dead end.

"Homegrown" applies in two ways: one, the society that excludes and stigmatizes entire generations of kids from the banlieues, thereby creating the ground for extremist growth, and two, that Merah was "converted" and recruited in a French prison. What is not homegrown is the fanatical medievalists in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Jerome a Paris:

good police work, before and after

Police work "before" was pretty obviously bad. While the terror alert level was supposed to be red (wow!), Mohammed Merah was placed under light surveillance. That should never have happened. Just goes to show that terror alert levels are a purely communicational device intended to impress and (scare or reassure?) the general population.

Where I agree is on the term "emergence". The phenomenon is not new.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Police work "before" was pretty obviously bad.

Especially if this (from 2010) is true:

Au Télégramme, Malika avait également raconté cette histoire : "Mohamed avait demandé au frère de cette jeune femme de venir chez lui, dans l'appartement où il est aujourd'hui retranché, prétextant un problème informatique. Une fois chez lui, l'adolescent n'avait pas pu repartir. Mohamed l'avait séquestré. Il voulait lui montrer des vidéos d'Al Qaïda, avec des décapitations, etc. La maman de l'adolescent s'était inquiétée et avait aussitôt lancé des recherches. L'ado avait fini par être libéré. La soeur de l'adolescent avait ensuite rencontré Mohamed, pour lui dire de ne jamais recommencer ça. Mohamed l'avait alors violemment agressée. Elle avait même dû être hospitalisée plusieurs jours. Mohamed était ensuite venu sous les fenêtres de l'appartement familial de la victime. Il était en treillis militaire, armé d'un sabre et hurlait qu'il était d'Al Qaïda... Pourquoi la police et la justice n'ont donné aucune suite ? Une plainte avait été deposée."
by gk (gk) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:16:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there are reports of Merah showing such videos (Al Qaeda, decapitations) to youngsters. This is the first time I've read about him in military fatigues yelling he was from Al Qaeda.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:28:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This would suggest ordinary police reports were not checked by the DCRI when they interrogated him last November.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Under Sarko the 1st, police has been to busy filtering the crowds during the royal visits in French cities and the DCRI too busy spying on journalists. Priorities...
by Bernard on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:39:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds one of George Bush and 9/11; how great they were to close the barn door after the horses had escaped.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then bragging about it.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:46:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is now attacking Sarko on security: (via Twitter):

JJUrvoas: Si je comprends bien le RAID n'est donc pas capable en 30 h d'aller chercher un individu seul dans un appartement ?

(Urvoas is the PS guy for security matters).

It is probably also why the UMP (see Copé's attacks) is so virulent in its criticisms. It's strength will now be shown to be a weakness.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:11:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of the article in the "Telegramme de Brest"

Malika also told this story: "Mohamed asked the brother of the girl to come to his home in the apartment where he is now entrenched, citing a computer glitch. Once home, the adolescent could not leave. Mohamed had sequestered him. He wanted to show videos of Al Qaeda, with beheadings, etc.. the adolescent's mother was worried and had immediately initiated a search. The teen was eventually freed. The sister of the youth had then met with Mohamed and told him to never do it again. Mohamed attacked her so  violently that she even had to be hospitalized for several days. Mohamed then came under the windows the family apartment of the victim. He was in combat fatigues, armed with a sword and yelling that he was Al Qaeda ... Why the police and justice have taken no action? A complaint was laid. "


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In previous discussions, we were leaning towards the view that rightwing racist violence was never called "terrorism" (whereas it should be). Now we know that this was rightwing religious extremist violence, I can't see why it should not be called "terrorism" either. Conspiring in Waziristan to commit murderous and terrifying attacks in France may properly be called "terrorism", which in no way excludes "hate crime", and vice versa. So arguing that this is not "terror" seems to me a dead end.
Right-wing extremists like the groups Breivik used to mingle with are tolerated by Western™ security services just like right-wing extremists are tolerated by the Pakistani security services. It's just that a right-wing extremist in the Pakistani tribal regions looks "islamic extremist" when transplanted to Europe. But it's all about extreme, violent, possibly deranged, right-wing authoritarians being tolerated by right-wing authoritarian security services.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what - should we preemptively put to jail all people that exhibit suspicious behavior?

He was known to the DCRI, which allowed to identify him quickly after he actually did something, and they made a judgement call before that he was not radicalized enough.

Is watching decapitations on TV illegal? Creepy, sure, but a sign of imminent terrorism?

The guy did do several jail stints, so he was known from the police as a délinquant, and like many arab youth who go to jail , got linked to more radical militants.

Again, what does that mean the police should do? Lock up for ever all Arab delinquents that have ever traveled to a Muslim country? I'm amazed about comments that police did not do their job?

What should the police do about Juppé and Chirac and others - they have been sentenced to jail and are near the levers of power, isn't that something the "police" should worry about too, preemptively?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merah should have been put on stricter surveillance.

If the DCRI knew he was watching "Al Qaeda" videos with decapitations (which is unsure, they may not have known), then that was certainly an additional circumstance justifying careful surveillance.

The rest, about "all Arab delinquents", Juppé and Chirac, look like strawmen to me...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:12:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was a sufficient additional circumstance I suspect you'd have to put a good percentage of the population under surveillance.

This sort of attack is the nightmare of security services: it's virtually unstoppable unless the attacker goes to the trouble of telling someone what he's going to do. You don't need any special equipment - a gun and ammo is easily obtained pretty much anywhere if you have minimal contacts with crime - you don't need any special preparation, you don't need a cell.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Additional to trips to Waziristan. That concerns "a good percentage of the population"?

Agreed it's a nightmare for security services. But they have different surveillance levels, and Merah was set on a light one.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When did traveling to a part of the world that the political police does not like become a crime? I'm not - quite - old enough to remember the time when people's phones were tapped because they'd been to Moskva or Beijing, but I don't think that the abandonment of that practise is any great loss to European civilisation.

It looks to me like the place to point at deficient police work is that they didn't seem to take it seriously that he was waving bladed weapons at people and making threatening noises (something that is illegal in most jurisdictions whether the blade is actually sharp or just a replica).

Who wants to lay odds that that incident was dismissed as "just some Arabs' internal issues" by the police?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't police a community you're harassing because policing depends on cooperation from the community. As far as I understand it, one of Sarko's key policies was to get rid of the community style policing from the banlieues in favour of much more right-wing authoritarian friendly
hard-man, zero tolerance policing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:27:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is that, and there is also that the police does not consider crimes in certain neighbourhoods a priority at all. So even when there are open and shut cases the police does not come.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
When did traveling to a part of the world that the political police does not like become a crime?

It was considered a sufficient motive for the DCRI to open a file on him and decide on light surveillance. It's not sure to what extent the DCRI cross-checked with other police reports.

If it had been a crime (which no one here has said, btw, and is therefore a strawman), he should have been arrested and prosecuted.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please see article
now translated, I suspect you'll agree that there were good reasons to keep closer tabs on him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he should have been in jail. Which I suppose counts as keeping close tabs on him.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then "he went snap" Who Could Have Predicted?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:53:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So all people who have been in jail and expressed sympathy at some point for Al-Qaide should go back to jail preemptively? For how long?

Or what?

How could the police conceivably have prevented these crimes?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:58:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We need a timeline, because he had already "gone snap" and as far as I can tell he had been in jail for petty theft.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He should have gone to jail for kidnapping a teenager and showing him snuff movies, beating up his sister and sending her to hospital, and ranting under their window waving a sabre and claiming to be from Al Qaida.

Which part of that do you disagree with?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We spend 90% of the time on this blog when we talk about this issue to worry about the surveillance state and suddenly, when, in hindsight, in one case (a noisy and nasty one for sure, but again, no more traumatizing for the families than the recent bus crash in Switzerland), we should throw all that away and encourage the police to step up their surveillance even more?

Why can't we admit that we'll never be able to anticipate one individual going 'snap'? Why should we pay the price in the form of a police state to prevent - maybe - another such crime?

This is absurd and disappointing.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm all for the surveillance of individuals like Merah. Who didn't just "snap".

I'm not in favour of generalised surveillance of the population to scare people into thinking there really is a major, permanent security problem. Putting CCTV all over the place, for example.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"individuals like Merah"

Seriously.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:35:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously, what?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meaning, you don't know enough about this particular guy?

Do you imagine I'm mixing him in with all the other banlieue kids?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:45:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
absurd and disappointing is right, unless this report is false
Au Télégramme, Malika avait également raconté cette histoire : "Mohamed avait demandé au frère de cette jeune femme de venir chez lui, dans l'appartement où il est aujourd'hui retranché, prétextant un problème informatique. Une fois chez lui, l'adolescent n'avait pas pu repartir. Mohamed l'avait séquestré. Il voulait lui montrer des vidéos d'Al Qaïda, avec des décapitations, etc. La maman de l'adolescent s'était inquiétée et avait aussitôt lancé des recherches. L'ado avait fini par être libéré. La soeur de l'adolescent avait ensuite rencontré Mohamed, pour lui dire de ne jamais recommencer ça. Mohamed l'avait alors violemment agressée. Elle avait même dû être hospitalisée plusieurs jours. Mohamed était ensuite venu sous les fenêtres de l'appartement familial de la victime. Il était en treillis militaire, armé d'un sabre et hurlait qu'il était d'Al Qaïda... Pourquoi la police et la justice n'ont donné aucune suite ? Une plainte avait été deposée."
illegal detention, battery and assault, threats with a large bladed weapon?
Why can't we admit that we'll never be able to anticipate one individual going 'snap'?
Seriously, Jerome.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and he's been to jail two years at least, and had a rap sheet of 15 items.

Hitting the woman is a crime. Shouting in the street that you are with Al-Qaida is not, as far as I can tell.

But again, what should have been done? Have him under 24/7 surveillance? How many people would you need to do that with? And wouldd that even have prevented him fro mooing what he did? Keep him in jail preemptively? For how long?

How many people do stupid, offensive, potentially dangerous stuff? What should we do with all of them?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shouting in the street with a sword is a crime where I come from.

And this is a case where maximum sentences might have made sense.

And some sort of rehabilitation. I'm guessing that French prisons under Sarko haven't put a lot of emphasis on that.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:58:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and he's been to jail two years at least, and had a rap sheet of 15 items.

Was he in jail for that incident with the detention, the battery and the threats?

Shouting in the street that you are with Al-Qaida is not, as far as I can tell.

I don't know whether his "sabre" was a real weapon or a replica for sale to tourists. If it was real (sharp), in most of Europe (don't know about France) it was illegal to own, it was illegal to carry, and it sure as hell was illegal to unsheath in the middle of the street and brandish threateningly, let alone at specific people.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:01:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ok, so he gets 6 new months in jail or something - or 5 years. Then what?

Let's even admit he's put on the list of "highly dangerous people" - but free. How do you prevent him from doing what he did?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:09:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's even admit he's put on the list of "highly dangerous people" - but free.

What does that entail, in terms of surveillance?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:10:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I'm asking you!!!
What should have been done?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why did it take the police less than a day to find the killer after the school shooting using leads associated to his first murder on March 11 when there had been a second hit on the 15th and the police knew the weapon used in both attacks was the same?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, stop arguing the intelligence work after the school shooting was stellar. The intelligence work after the multiple murder on the 15th was shoddy to nonexistent.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:19:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait were you pulling Let's even admit he's put on the list of "highly dangerous people" - but free out of a bodily orifice? I was assuming you were implying such a "list" existed and thus my question about what it entailed.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:25:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you have five years to attempt to rehabilitate him and assess the risk.

Yes, I know they wouldn't have.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But then that's not a failure of police intelligence, it's a failure of prison policy. A point which I think I made yesterday already (noting that he was radicalized as a minor in prison).

I'm saying that such individuals may be followed by DCRI (and he was - whether with the proper level of attention or not is an open question) but that this is highly unlikely to prevent such a individual which generated, to date, only minor worries to a service dedicated to that question, from going suddenly much further.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:15:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole kidnapping and beating people and standing in the street waving a sword thing might have been expect to raise a red flag or two, maybe, in this case.

Your general point is true. It's not clear that it should have been true in this specific case.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:18:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that we can anticipate the crazy things that any of us can do?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm seriously claiming he might have belonged in a mental institution or a prison already just based on that report. No prediction necessary.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:09:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For how long?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea.

We need a timeline. After all, the guy was 24. Not a lot of time to do lots of things and be in and out of jail. When was the alleged kidnapping, assault and threats? Was it not reported to the police?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you seriously continuing to claim that this is what's at issue here?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We live in the best of all possible worlds.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:13:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is at stake? How do you know someone mildly dangerous will suddenly go around killing people in cold blood like this?

I want to know, because I want to know which signs are those the police should look for amongst 65 million people - and what measures they should take against EVERY SINGLE PERSON which exhibits any of these symptoms, in order to prevent that killing spree.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:17:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, face the fact that it was the murder of three children in a school yard which prompted the police to go back and solve in less than 24 hours the first murder which occurred 9 days earlier.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the evidence supports that contention. It may just have taken them a while to put the bits together.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:31:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The narrative I'm reading in the press sounds like that. It may have been that they were piecing things together slowly when the school shooting happened. El Pais:
Una dirección IP, el número por el que se puede saber desde dónde ha accedido a Internet un determinado equipo. Y un concesionario de motos al que el sospechoso acudió para pedir que le desconectaran el mecanismo que permite localizar a los vehículos en caso de robo. Estas fueron las dos pistas clave que permitieron al fiscal jefe de la investigación, François Molins, encontrar los nexos que llevaron a la policía francesa a identificar y después localizar al supuesto asesino. Un "trabajo colosal", elogió el fiscal a sus más de 300 colaboradores, que consistió en cruzar siete millones de datos telefónicos, 700 conexiones de Internet y cientos de respuestas al anuncio de venta de una moto, con el cual los investigadores identificaron el barrio donde se encontraba el sospechoso desde el 17 de marzo.
Google translate:
An IP address, the number you can tell from where you access the Internet a particular team. And a motorcycle dealership that the suspect came to ask you disconnected the mechanism to locate vehicles in case of theft. These were the two key clues that allowed the research chief prosecutor, François Molins, find the links that led to the French police to identify and then locate the alleged murderer. A "colossal job," praised the prosecutor in his more than 300 employees, which was to cross seven million telephone data, 700 Internet connections and hundreds of replies to the notice of sale of a motorcycle, which the researchers identified the neighborhood where the suspect was on 17 March.
I don't know what the original source is, and a timeline would be nice, too.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:36:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An account from Libé. Also doesn't give any times.

But we're told after the IP search related to the scooter sale "the family was put under surveillance". Therefore, the IP search was completed after the school shooting. Then we're told the key turn in the investigation was at the Yamaha dealership where he had asked about disabling the anti-theft device, in the afternoon after the school shooting.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:48:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading carefully rather than diagonally:
Sitôt la tuerie contre les parachutistes de Montauban jeudi, la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur a sorti les dossiers d'islamistes de la région, notamment de ce Français d'origine algérienne qui habite à Toulouse et qui a été «repéré pour deux séjours d'entraînement en Afghanistan et au Pakistan», selon un officier de renseignement.
Immediately after the killing in Montauban against the paratroopers Thursday, the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI) pulled out records of Islamists in the region, including that of this French of Algerian descent who lives in Toulouse and was "noticed for two training stays in Afghanistan and Pakistan," according to an intelligence officer.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:16:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huit flics de la lutte contre la cybercriminalité explorent alors l'ordinateur de la victime et identifient de très nombreuses adresses IP ayant consulté l'annonce du vendeur de la Suzuki. Claude Guéant a souligné ce matin sur BFMTV que «575 acheteurs se sont présentés». Lundi après-midi, après la fusillade contre l'école juive de Toulouse Ozar Hatorah où trois jeunes enfants et un professeur de religion ont été abattus, l'une de ces adresses IP a «éveillé l'attention car le nom correspondait à la mère du suspect» Mohamed Merah, «connu pour sa radicalisation salafiste» selon le ministre de l'Intérieur.
Eight cops in the fight against cybercrime explore then [after the first murder] the victim's computer and they identify many IP addresses that have accessed the announcement of the seller of the Suzuki. Claude Gueant said this morning on BFMTV that "575 buyers showed up." Monday afternoon, after the shooting against the Jewish school in Toulouse Ozar Hatorah where three young children and a religion teacher were killed, one of these IP addresses has "attracted attention because the name matched the mother the suspect "Mohamed Merah" known for its Salafist radicalization "according to the Interior Minister.
It was then that the family was put under surveillance.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally, at the beginning we're told
Dès vendredi, les autorités judiciaires et policières hésitent à «basculer l'affaire en terrorisme», selon un magistrat.
Since Friday, the police and judicial authorities are reluctant to "turn the case into terrorism," according to a magistrate.
Then, after the school shooting the police become convinced that the stolen motorcycle described as black by witnesses to the second shooting and white by witnesses of the school shooting had been repainted. They then scour paint shops, garages and Yamaha dealerships, and hit on the report of a youngster who asked about "a friend who´s repainting his bike and wants to know about the location device".
Au beau milieu de la réunion «stratégie» des pontes de la justice et de la police à la préfecture de Toulouse transformée en QG, cet élément majeur a levé «les hésitations sur la décision de lancer l'opération ou pas». Le feu vert a été donné au Raid hier soir et confirmé à minuit pour intervenir dans la nuit chez Mohamed Merah à Toulouse.
In the middle of the "strategy" meeting of justice and police authorities at the Toulouse Prefecture turned into HQ, this major element lifted "the hesitation on the decision to launch the operation or not." The green light was given to the RAID last night and confirmed at midnight to intervene in the night at Mohamed Merah's home in Toulouse.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
9 days does not sound like an extravagant timeframe for a murder investigation, TBH. It sucks that he killed another bunch of people during that week, of course. But really the only way I can see the police could have cut down on that time table would be to run out and arrest a whole busload of random people and hope their guy was among them.

That's what they did in Oslo - problem was, they ran out and arrested the wrong busload of random people. Which, incidentally, illustrates one of the reasons I'm not really a big fan of that investigation technique.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A "colossal job," praised the prosecutor in his more than 300 employees, which was to cross seven million telephone data, 700 Internet connections and hundreds of replies to the notice of sale of a motorcycle
What does that have to do with your
the only way I can see the police could have cut down on that time table would be to run out and arrest a whole busload of random people
The impression I get from the reports is that the "colossal job" took place (or was shifted into a higher gear and finished) with urgency after the school shooting.

In fact, the first lead we were told about regarding the school was the neonazi soldiers. Was that before or after the ballistics came back and linked the school shooting with the earlier two incidents? In any case, it was the ballistics link that accelerated the resolution of the first murder.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it difficult to believe that they sifted through all those communications in the what? 36 hours following the school shooting? The French police is not that good.

Of course the investigation is expedited when it becomes clear that you're dealing with a serial killer. But that makes a great deal of sense, because most killers are not serial killers. And when you're dealing with a not-serial killer, you want to be thorough rather than fast. The dead don't come back to life because you get the killer three days sooner - but if you go to far too fast you might screw something up that means you can't prosecute.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:11:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it difficult to believe that they sifted through all those communications in the what? 36 hours following the school shooting? The French police is not that good.

How about the 5 days between the second murder and the school shooting?

Or do you need three separate murders of soldiers (as he was planning anyway) to be seen as a serial killer so the police gets into higher gear?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Five days sounds reasonable. But seven days also sounds reasonable. Really, absent any further evidence one way or another, I don't think we can rule out that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it took them long enough to nail him that he got another hit in in the meantime.

Failing to react appropriately to his earlier kidnapping, threats and assault is what we can blame the police for. Not for taking a week to find a shooter. I doubt any police force in the world could reliably do better than that.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:26:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "sifting may have been speeded by the fact that Merah's telephone and his mother's IP were on DCRI surveillance lists.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or it may not. Depends on how good those lists are: If they just listed every Muslim in the country, he would also have been "on the list" - but that would not have helped the search in the least.

Considering what we know of European police's promiscuous use of data mining, I am not optimistic in that respect.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Listed every Muslim in the country, WTF?

The lists are those under surveillance by the DCRI, not the result of data mining.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:01:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we look at what is known of keeping tabs of dangerous communists back in the days, the lists were huge. Given that at least German police has used data storage to get every single cell-phone in the same city as demonstrations, they are probably much longer today.

So without knowing how long the list is, or how it is compiled, I am sceptic to if they are of any use.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the more relevant question how he could have been stopped prior to the first killing?

And I think that is difficult with these internet radicalized one man terrorists cells.

by IM on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
internet radicalized one man terrorists cells
Is that what we are talking about though? Or rather a youth prison radicalised terror cell?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:17:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or an AfPak-training-camp radicalised terror cell?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just assume that generally radicalisation precedes travel to a training camp.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had the impression from some of the reports that he was a case of internet radicalization. But if the youth prison was the place, as bad. That said he still seems to be a one man cell.
by IM on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the first murders became a lot easier to solve after the school shooting.

Before that I suppose the suspect profile was something like "guy who has a gun, who hates the army or immigrants", and after he murdered those Jewish children the number if suspects shrunk to "crazy guy who hates that army and Jews, ie a crazy Muslim who probably has been to AfPak".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily: two servicemen killed were Arab, the third one black.
So a guy who hates the army, Arabs, Blacks and Jews: could have fit Breivik for all we knew then.
by Bernard on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:56:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Breivik was very positive regarding Jews and Israel, so no.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would not be typical of the racist extreme right in France, which hangs on to an antisemitic tradition (as Jean-Marie Le Pen's career show).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 02:17:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Breivik managed to combine antisemitism and admiration for Israel.
by Katrin on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 04:50:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it looks like he had father issues and fell under the influence of jihadists who did not have the balls to do the killing themselves, most notably his older brother.  they both devalued their mother who raised them alone.  they tried to force her to wear the hijab.

add his rejection by the army and you get the same profile as Marc Lépine the killer of the women student engineers at the Polytechnique in Montréal in 1989.

by stevesim on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:28:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would fit with the French case - Le Pen also expresses admiration for Israel (a strong state that keeps the Arabs down).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:44:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would fit with most right-wing extremists, I think. Probably with large parts of the "respectable" right, too.
by Katrin on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Just... no.

This is the sort of wild-ass guesswork that leads idiots like Hans Holmér to go pick up a busload of totally unrelated brown people.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 03:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All police work is originally based on hunches and guess work. What Hans "Stupid" Holmér did wrong was not suspecting the PKK in the first place, but not dropping the suspicions when it became obvious they were completely innocent.

But you always start by throwing out a wide net (the usual suspects) and then sorting out those who have nothing to do with the crime. Eventually, the number of suspects is small enough (or the suspicions against certain individual strong enough) that you can start bringing in people for questioning.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 04:50:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What he did wrong was to fail to look for and follow up on leads that did not conform to his pet guess. Guesswork and hunches are great for expanding the pool of people you need to have a talk with or a look at. Not so good for reducing it. To narrow it down, you need a more concrete sort of evidence.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to your "any of us". It's a manifest strawman. This is not about "any of us" might do if we cracked up. People crack up all the time. They commit (or attempt) suicide, they become violent, they may kill. Is it so hard to see that what Merah has done over the last week or so goes far beyond that?

We have consistently argued (and agreed) on this blog that terrorism was not a matter for military intervention in far-off countries, but for correctly-applied police work. Your contention is that police work previous to Merah's attacks was good. Mine is that it fell down by not applying a higher surveillance level to Merah.

That does not mean Merah would not have slipped through the net and done his deeds anyway. Just that I don't vote any plaudits to the police for their preventive work in this instance.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:51:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this theme and attack the UMP and Sarkzy hard on this patent failure of police work under Sarko's watch.
by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what does that mean the police should do?

Maintain a surveillance that goes beyond internet checks?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:12:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is a pretty serious crime. Assault on his sister is also a pretty serious crime. Coupled with what they knew about his many travels to the NWFP and Afghanistan, this guy should have been at the very least locked up for both offences.

And instead he's being detained for driving without a permit?

Looks like a number of keystone cops episodes to me, setting up what was first appearing to be Sarko's heroic rescue but which will now be seen for what it was: ineffectual police work which allowed many avoidable crimes to happen.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:14:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with that - even without the trips to AfPak, the sequestration and assault should have led to prison time, or something (note that we don't know what happened after that episode).

That may have been bad policing by the local police, but I fail to see how that impugns on the DCRI (if they did not get the info) at the time or even in the past 10 days.

And again I fail to see how you could expect that guy to turn into a cold-blooded murderer 2 years later, and what could have been done to prevent that from happening.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
doesn't appear to have been investigated. This will need to be vigorously pursued, because I doubt that Guéant will be spontaneously forthcoming.

Jerome a Paris:

And again I fail to see how you could expect that guy to turn into a cold-blooded murderer 2 years later

If this incident had been cross-referenced with the trips to Afghanistan (which presumably it hadn't), then that adds up to a dangerous jihadist, worthy of closer surveillance than he was getting.  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde has this:


Les services de police français ont ainsi mis en évidence, au moins à partir de 2008, des liens forts entre les frères Merah et un groupe d'apprentis-djihadistes issu de l'Ariège et de la ville de Toulouse. Les membres de ce groupe ont été interpellés, le 15 février 2007, puis condamnés, pour la plupart, en juin 2009, pour "association de malfaiteurs en relation avec une entreprise terroriste".

So he was closely linked to a group sentenced for terrorism (the article further says that one of the leaders of that group got married to Mezah's mother) and presumably under some watch at the time.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:22:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
During the press conference by the procurer, he says the following (as per Le Monde's live feed:


Sur un éventuel défaut de surveillance de Merah par les services de la DCRI à son retour d'Afghanistan : "Il s'est débrouillé tout seul pour aller en Afghanistan. En dehors de sa présence [dans le pays], personne n'avait rien à lui reprocher" à son retour en France. Il est resté relativement discret après ces événements.

 "Merah n'avait pas attiré l'attention depuis son retour d'Afghanistan (...). Vous avez des milliers de personnes qui vont en Afghanistan et au Pakistan."

"He had not attracted notice since going to Afghanistan in 2010, thousands of people go to Afghanistan."

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:30:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghanistan?

Aside from military and ONG personnel, I find this hard to believe.

Someone should be asking him to show his math and evidence. Smells like ass-covering to me.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:44:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French Shooting Suspect Was on U.S. No-Fly List - WSJ.com
The gunman suspected in a string of shootings in southern France was on the U.S.'s no-fly list as a suspected terrorist, according to people familiar with the matter.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 01:36:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, unless the modus operandi has changed noticeably since the IB affair, those lists are worthless. Because people just get dumped there by more or less competent and more or less diligent spooks, who seem to lack the concept of focus and priorities. The US no-fly lists in particular are a long-standing joke in this regard (except when you get on them because you happen to have the same name as someone who visited North Korea once).

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 03:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again from Le Télégramme
Claude Guéant a confirmé que Mohammed Merah avait à son actif "plusieurs actes de délinquance, une petite dizaine, parfois avec violences". Une source policière a évoqué le chiffre de 18 faits connus.

"Sa radicalisation s'est plutôt faite au sein d'un groupe d'idéologie salafiste, et affermie semble-t-il lors de deux voyages l'un en Afghanistan, l'autre au Pakistan", a détaillé Claude Guéant . Ce groupe toulousain serait composé d'une quinzaine de personnes. "C'est un groupe idéologique, ce n'est pas un groupe qui ait jamais semblé prêt à passer à des actes criminels", a insisté le ministre.

De même, s'il était "suivi depuis plusieurs années par la DCRI (le renseignement intérieur français) et ses agents toulousains", "jamais aucun élément de nature à (faire) penser qu'il préparait une action criminelle n'était apparu", a assuré Claude Guéant.

Interior minister Guéant: "it's an ideological group, it's not a group that had ever seemed ready to move on to criminal acts". All the same, it had been followed by the DCRI for years.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(note that we don't know what happened after that episode)

But we do

Un avocat confirme

Nous avons pu retrouver la famille concernée, terrorisée depuis qu'elle a appris que le même Mohamed Merah était l'auteur présumé de la série de meurtres de Montauban et Toulouse. Plusieurs proches ont pu nous confirmer la version de Malika. Nous avons également pu joindre l'avocat qui a déposé plainte, Me Mouton.

Lui aussi confirme : "Les faits concernant l'agression remontent au printemps 2010 si ma mémoire est exacte. Depuis je n'ai aucune nouvelle. La maman a été entendue mais je ne sais pas si une enquête a été menée et, si c'est le cas, on ne m'a pas informé des suites qui lui avaient été données. Je ne peux que le déplorer. Et aujourd'hui, effectivement, cette affaire prend un relief tout particulier."

A lawyer confirms it

We have been able to find the family in question, in terror after learning that the same Mohamed Merah was the presumed author of the series of murders in Montauban and Toulouse. Several people close to them have been able to confirm Malika's version. We have equally been able to meet the lawyer who filed the complaint, Mr. Mouton.

He also confirms: "The deeds regarding the assault harken back to the Spring of 2010 if my memory serves. Since then, I have no news. The mom was heard but I don't know whether an investigation was carried out and, in that case, I was not informed of any followups. I can only lament it. And, today, precisely, this case becomes particularly relevant."



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 09:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
presume that these events, which happen all the time, will turn someone into a cold-blooded killer.

But, as you agree, we can expect that such events might be punished severely under the law, especially considering that if they had actually been properly pursued, other circumstantial evidence, including his trips to jihadistan, would certainly have led to a long prison term, perhaps even prosecution under the terrorism statutes (the episode with the sabre) and perhaps also institutionalisation for mental illness.

Unfortunately, since the aggressee and the sequestree were both "one of them" and not céfran, this avenue of research and prosecution was not pursued by the local police, and the bungling was compounded later.

I am sure that if the accused had threatened good old white folks the same way, the outcome would have been different. And differential justice is justice denied, with potentially dire consequences, as we see here.

Every non-white French knows he or she will not be afforded the same protection under the law and will be unjustly subjected to hamfisted application of petty crime law enforcement (identity controls for starters) unlike their white compatriots. This is a hallmark of Sarkozy's and the UMP's security strategy, and it not only is racist, but it doesn't work, as we see here. And I suspect that this is going to be a very fruitful line of attack both for your side and for mine.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the timeline, as far as I can piece it together from this Libé profile as well as other links in this thread:
  • 2008: gets out of 18 months of jail for stealing a handbag outside a bank branch, with all his previous record acting as an aggravating circumstance (i.e., he was jailed as soon as he became an adult). His former employer takes him on again.
  • January 2008: he tries to join the army in Lille, is rejected for his criminal record.
  • 2009: the article speaks of minor offences "between 2006 and 2009". No details
  • Spring 2010: detention, battery and threats incident, with a complaint filed against him
  • July 2010: tries the Foreign Legion in Toulouse, but leaves before actually going through the screening process. Just after this, he goes to Afghanistan "by his own means" "without passing through known channels or intermediaries or countries under surveillance" (atypical salafist self-radicalisation, says the Paris prosecutor)
  • November 2010: he's stopped by the Afghan police at a roadblock and given to the Americans for "papers trouble", and sent back to France.
  • August-October 2011: he goes to the Pakistani Frontier Region where he "claims to have been trained by Al Qaeda". Contracts Hepatitis A and returns to France.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:31:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are reports that his passport has a number of stamps in it, including Irak, Syria, Israel (where he would have been trying to go to the occupied territories) and perhaps also Iran (twice).

As usual, take what you get from Libé with either a grain of salt or healthy scepticism.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irak, Syria, Israel (where he would have been trying to go to the occupied territories) and perhaps also Iran (twice)

That's remarkable! I thought it was exceedingly difficult to visit Israel and any of its neighbours (not no mention Iran) on the same passport as having visited "an enemy state" tends to result in your being turned back at the border.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm suspicious of this. And I thought Israel never stamped passports precisely to avoid these problems.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
En revanche, un officier supérieur américain, en poste à Kandahar, a assuré au Monde, mercredi, que sur le passeport de l'intéressé figurait un certain nombre de tampons révélant ses derniers déplacements. Le plus ancien mentionnait sa présence en Israël, puis en Syrie, en Irak et en Jordanie. Avant d'être arrêté, il se serait rendu au consulat d'Inde à Kandahar en vue d'obtenir un visa pour se rendre dans ce pays.

Aucune précision n'a pu être obtenue sur l'objet de son voyage en Israël mais la même source évoque, au regard des réponses fournies lors de son audition à Kandahar, que Mohamed Merah "aurait pu ou tenté" de se rendre dans les territoires palestiniens. Des repérages pour commettre d'éventuelles attaques n'ont pas été non plus exclus.

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2012/03/22/mohamed-merah-un-membre-actif-de-la-mouvance-djihad iste-internationale_1674086_3224.html

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:35:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It wouldn't be a problem if Israel was the first country visited in terms of chronology.
by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the other way round - Arab countries won't let people with an Israel stamp. Israel doesn't care where you have (or at lest won't prevent you from coming in).


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There appears to be a lot of misinfo on this subject. Israeli nationals certainly cannot go to many Arab countries, and you certainly will, depending on who you are, face some pretty pointed questions at customs when you have your passport stamped Israel before going, say, to the UAE (though if your first name is Mohammed, this probably will be a mitigating factor).

But very few countries refuse to, as a matter of policy, allow people entry simply because they have a Israel stamp in their passport, though the risk that one might be turned away is understandably something people tend to avoid, via two passports for instance.

And, it goes both ways. I think someone names Mohammed with Irak, Syria and Afghanistan passport stamps is going to find it hard (harder) to gain entry to Israel.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention a long interview when leaving.
by gk (gk) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual, take what you get from Libé with either a grain of salt or healthy scepticism.

Le Monde

En revanche, un officier supérieur américain, en poste à Kandahar, a assuré au Monde, mercredi, que sur le passeport de l'intéressé figurait un certain nombre de tampons révélant ses derniers déplacements. Le plus ancien mentionnait sa présence en Israël, puis en Syrie, en Irak et en Jordanie. Avant d'être arrêté, il se serait rendu au consulat d'Inde à Kandahar en vue d'obtenir un visa pour se rendre dans ce pays.
by gk (gk) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:12:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no shame :-(
now it is Sarko fault if this "chance pour la France" started his criminal career and end up grapping a 8 year old small girl by the hairs and shot her in the head.

yeah

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
policing strategy was completely ineffectual in stopping this deranged person much earlier, just as it is comletely ineffectual in all other manner of ways.

Make your bed, then you sleep in it.

by redstar on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Make your bed, then you sleep in it"

This is exactly what Lepen said 30 years ago concerning the policy of letting large numbers of North Africans settle in France.Interesting and Ironic isnt it ?

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...as opposed to the policy of letting large numbers of French settle in North Africa.
by Bernard on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here comes the racist trolling. Excellent.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 03:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
now it is Sarko fault if this "chance pour la France" started his criminal career and end up grapping a 8 year old small girl by the hairs and shot her in the head.

Yes.

Yes, it is damn well Sarkozy's fault that on his watch, first as interior minister and then as El Presidente, he destroyed the French police's will or ability (NB: That's an inclusive or) to respond to kidnapping, assault and death threats perpetrated against brown people. If the French police had responded properly to the kidnapping, assault and death threats against a family of Magrheb descent years ago, none of this would have happened.

This little mujahedin wannabe could have been quashed years ago, if the French police had taken crime against brown people seriously. But apparently it required a couple of soldiers and a few white kids to get shot before the glorious police under Sarkozy I could be bothered to get off their asses.

Yes, that's Sarkozy's fault.

Of course for Sarkozy it makes great sense. After all, looking tough quashing revolts with his water cannons is more important to Sarkozy than proper police work: And to look tough quashing revolts, one must first create the preconditions for revolt. And all the racist mouth-breathers will be too busy going "ooh" and "aah" at the strong manly-man who shows the inferiors their place to notice that if it hadn't been for his own strongman policies, there would have been no need for water cannons in the first place.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 03:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, Sarkozy is focusing on making it a crime to access extremist literature on the internet, as well as travelling abroad for indoctrination. That's where he can score political points with his base.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More smoke-screen announcements, as per usual.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
how that impugns on the DCRI (if they did not get the info)

Getting info is the job of counter-intelligence, isn't it?

Jerome a Paris:

how you could expect that guy to turn into a cold-blooded murderer 2 years later

The job of efficient antiterrorist police work is not to predict, it is (as far as possible) to prevent. In this case, the DCRI doesn't seem to have gone as far as possible.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DCRI has had other priorities under its boss B.Squarcini, namely to protect the regime like spying on the journalists who were investigating various scandals.
by Bernard on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 01:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is always suffering from political framing. That is also the case here.

But terrorist acts are generally 'hate crimes'. The question is whether the reverse is true.

Are (were) the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organisation? The EU still seems to think so. People can beg to differ.

Yet for the situation in Toulouse, someone who claims to be inspired by Al Quaida, has at least traveled twice to Pakistan and possibly visited trainingsites, and given the provided motives for his attacks - that does fit the description.

I think what tripped you was the addition of the word "emergence" in the article.

by Nomad on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember when I was a little kid and visited Paris, and thought it so curious all the waste paper baskets had been nailed shut. That must be almost more than 15 years ago now.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 06:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merah was called in for interrogation by the DCRI in November 2011 and asked to explain his trips to Afghanistan/Waziristan. He showed photos and gave an account of a tourist trip.

Reportedly the DCRI was not fooled, but did not see him as an immediate threat (in particular, no known contacts with other jihadists). Surveillance was limited to telephone and Internet.

Internet gave him away, since the IP (in fact his mother's, not his brother's) was listed, and cross-checking the DCRI list with connections on the small ad site Merah used to lure the first victim brought the IP up.

One thing we won't be getting from the meejah (be thankful for small mercies) is the awful shadowy tentacles of Internet, because Merah obviously received no intertoobs training in the tribal mountains.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 02:44:01 AM EST
the small ad site Merah used to lure the first victim

I don't get this part. How can an ad lure a specific target? Was that ad somehow specifically aimed at soldiers?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:29:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merah replied to an ad in which a soldier was selling his scooter. He arranged a meeting and killed the soldier there.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme wrote of a sale the other way around, did he err?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I may have erred.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:23:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report now of a big explosion, then another.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:32:13 AM EST
Is that in addition to the three explosions reported during the night?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:32:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is right now.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:34:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais is headlining "hours without contact" and "France wonders whether the gunman is still alive". Might he have killed himself without the RAID noticing?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think I said that somewhere.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my update to the story earlier.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:53:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, I tend to ignore the diary body when the comment thread is very active...

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two shots were fired in the early hours. Maybe suicide?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:55:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@soren_seelow
#Toulouse Aucun contact établi avec le suspect depuis 22h45. Si son silence devait perdurer, il est possible que le Raid décide de bouger


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:01:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See below, the end appears to be nigh.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:40:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:56:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a third...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fire brigade vehicles in action (ambulances?).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:36:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, fire brigade ambulance.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report (police source) the RAID are in the apartment.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Le Monde, the RAID are inside the apartment.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:42:59 AM EST
Confirmed by another "police source".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 05:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Final act under way (source quoted by AFP)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde says they are progressing with care inside the apartment (in case it is booby-trapped).

No reaction from Merah.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:24:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shooting. Lots of shooting.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So that's it for the policy of capturing alive?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shooting continues. Two explosions.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:29:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Five minutes of intense exchanges of gunfire.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and he's dead, according to a police source cited by AFP.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Source tells Le Monde suspect is dead.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen is right, AFP.

Not confirmed yet.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen a Spanish tweet saying "found dead". !?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:39:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the Elysée says "killed". But we'll see.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given police injuries, unless they were firing on each other... He was alive and waiting for them.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:43:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that was a pretty bizarre tweet.

Seelow tweeted that he died "weapon in hand".

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:47:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Claude Guéant (Le Monde), Merah had stated last night he would not surrender and would kill police. In the apartment, he was holed up in the bathroom, from which he came out, armed. But then jumped out of the window and was found dead on the ground.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dead from a first floor jump? At least it wasn't the ground floor.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume dead from gunshot wounds. It can't have been from the fall.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 08:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais has now changed its online frontpage from "dies from jumping off a window" to "from a shot to the head".

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:53:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems (summarising Le Monde) that :

  • The RAID had orders to use non-lethal force, and spent 20 minutes trying to flush him out with stun grenades
  • When they sent a camera into the bathroom where he was holed up, he came out with guns blazing, and there's a five minute gun battle
  • He then runs across the room and jumps out of the window, and is immediately shot in the head by a police sniper

So : the snipers perhaps didn't get the "take him alive" memo; or on the contrary, had instructions to shoot to kill if he left the building (to prevent him shooting at anyone other than the RAID guys, one supposes)

So it looks as if it all went as well as could be expected...

Except that perhaps his lawyer, or someone else, could have talked him out (it was an extraordinarily courageous offer, and I hope there will be serious questions as to why it wasn't tried)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There would be hell to pay by the official who allowed it if the suspect killed the lawyer.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 02:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The officials tried to get his mother to mediate but she refused. Then his lawyer volunteered to mediate but they refused him.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:34:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Confirmed by listening in to police radio (!)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Confirmed by the Elysée.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Several police injured.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:41:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three, of which one seriously.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 06:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This, from his lawyer whose offer of mediation was refused.

Lawyer's reactionLawyer's reaction
Réaction de l'ex-avocat de Mohamed Merah : L'avocat de Mohamed Merah depuis des années, qui était jeudi matin près de l'appartement où le suspect a été tué par le RAID après un siège de 32 heures et une fusillade nourrie, a estimé juste après les faits que cette issue était "le résultat logique de la stratégie adoptée" par la police.Reaction of the former lawyer for Mohamed Merah: The lawyer for Mohamed Merah for years, which was Thursday morning near the apartment where the suspect was killed by the RAID after a siege of 32 hours and a fusillade, found just after the fact that this issue was "the logical outcome of the strategy adopted" by the police.
"Sa mort est le résultat logique de la stratégie adoptée, on l'a enfermé de plus en plus radicalement dans son autisme, dans sa coupure d'avec la réalité, rien n'a été fait pour l'aider à rétablir un lien, un dialogue", a considéré auprès de l'AFP Me Christian Etelin, qui défendait Merah depuis son adolescence, le plus souvent pour des petits délits de type vol."His death is the logical result of the strategy, we have locked up more and more radical in his autism, his break with reality, nothing has been done to help restore the link, dialogue ", considered to AFP Etelin Me Christian, who defended Merah since his teens, mostly for petty crimes like theft.
Selon lui, la stratégie employée "ne pouvait aboutir qu'à le faire se diriger tout droit vers le jusqu'au-boutisme et à vouloir mourir les armes à la main". "Je suis à la fois bouleversé par ce qu'il a fait, et par sa mort", a déclaré l'avocat.
"J'aurais souhaité qu'on puisse tout faire pour avoir des explications, comprendre comment il a pu s'engager dans un tel processus de déshumanisation (...) c'est une possibilité de connaissance de l'être humain qui nous échappe", a-t-il remarqué.
He said the strategy employed "could only lead him to head straight to the hard-line and want to die fighting". "I am both shocked by what he did, and his death," said the lawyer.
"I wish we could have done everything possible to have an explanation, how he was able to engage in such a dehumanizing process (...) it is a possibility of knowledge of the human being which escapes us , "he noted.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 07:34:54 AM EST
It looks like the political aftermath on this is going to be vicious:
  • Le Pen has already stated openly that she felt vindicated, that the threat from radical islam had been under-estimated and downplayed by all the other parties
  • Cope (the UMG general secretary) has openly accused Hollande and Bayrou or not respecting the "truce" and of playing part politics with the events; he's been rebuffed quite strongly by the PS, who says that Sarkozy pretends to take the high road while his sidekicks engage in vicious and unbecoming attacks
  • the smaller candidates, as well as Bayrou, have flagged the atmosphere of hate and intolerance which has been encouraged by some in the recent past
  • the PS has already started asking questions about some aspects of the police work


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:27:17 AM EST
Le Monde.fr:
alerte AFP - Une organisation liée à Al-Qaida revendique la tuerie de Toulouse.
jeudi 22 mars 2012 15h44

Guest :  
Se peut-il que l'organisation liée à Al-Qaida revendique la tuerie de Toulouse sans y avoir été réellement impliquée?
jeudi 22 mars 2012 15h48

Le Monde.fr:
@Guest : les liens que Mohamed Merah a pu tisser avec la nébuleuse Al-Qaida sont encore flous. Mais le jeune homme a affirmé au RAID avoir agi au nom de l'organisation terroriste internationale, selon le procureur de Paris, François Molins. A ce titre, il est normal qu'Al-Qaida revendique ces actes, même s'il s'avère qu'aucun de ses responsables n'a été impliqué.
jeudi 22 mars 2012 15h49

Guest :  
Quel est le nom de cette organisation et où est-elle basée ?
jeudi 22 mars 2012 15h59

Le Monde.fr:
Il s'agit d'un groupe lié à Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (AQMI) a revendiqué, dans un communiqué mis en ligne jeudi, la tuerie de Toulouse et appelé la France à reconsidérer sa politique "hostile" aux musulmans.

Le texte, signé par l'organisation "Jund al-Khilafah" (les soldats du Califat) qui a par le passé revendiqué des attaques en Afghanistan et au Kazakhstan, a été publié sur le site Shamikh, qui diffuse généralement les communiqués d'Al-Qaida.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:25:32 PM EST
In the FT:

What the Sarkozy camp hopes is that his decisive action over the Toulouse crisis will persuade Le Pen voters, who polls show might otherwise abstain, to turn out for him in numbers for the second round, on May 6, where polls have him trailing Mr Hollande by a significant margin.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f2b91f1a-7422-11e1-bcec-00144feab49a.html

My comment (sybariter):

Er, what "decisive action" did Sarkozy take ? The police traced Merah through an IP address and someone who reported his inquiry about fixing a scooter security device. Then there was the expected RAID group attempt to sieze him which went wrong at the beginning and end. Arguably the police/security forces should have kept him under better watch given his record. Sarkozy's "decisive action" has been to cut police numbers, partly through cuts to local council allowances, e.g.:

"Le Figaro tows the ruling UMP party line - saying they're boosting police numbers to cut rising crime in Marseille.

Le Monde has a rather different analysis - they say the new boost will still leave the city with fewer officers than before Nicolas Sarkozy's policing cuts."

http://www.france2...-press-review-fran



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2012 at 04:56:52 PM EST
The story from le Télégramme about the formal complaint against Merah for kidnapping, assault and death threats in 2010 has now been picked up by Libération: Merah visé par une plainte en 2010 pour des violences.

In addition to the original report, Le Télégramme is now running an interview with the mother of the youths assaulted in 2010: Toulouse. Une mère en colère témoigne : "J'ai alerté la police à de nombreuses reprises" [Exclusif] (An enraged mother's testimony: "I alerted the police numerous times")

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 05:59:41 AM EST
Le Télégramme is a regional newspaper from Bretagne. How is it that they're the ones who managed to find this story, rather than national media or media local to Toulouse?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:04:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They say they are just reporting an interview of the neighbor in Le Parisien.
Here's the video:
http://www.leparisien.fr/diaporama-videos/index.php?sig=737953997c3s&csig=&source=home&p ub=16806&rub=par:www:une

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the original interview with "Malika", but the Télégramme interview with the mother who filed the criminal complaint is billed as an exclusive.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because sometimes, mere "regional papers" (and Ha'aretz and taz...) do a better "out of the box" job than the Paris-based "[supposedly] national press".
As for La Dépêche (Toulouse local paper), it is mostly useful for "dog bites man" type of stories.
by Bernard on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 10:05:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It had been picked up by Ha'aretz long before that - that's how I tracked down the original article.
by gk (gk) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:09:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Germany, taz picked it up yesterday.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 07:34:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Figaro: Merah: Fillon défend le travail de la DCRI
"Il n'y avait aucun élément permettant d'appréhender Mohamed Merah" avant son passage à l'acte, a-t-il déclaré sur RTL. "On n'a pas le droit dans un pays comme le nôtre de surveiller en permanence sans décision de justice quelqu'un qui n'a pas commis de délit (...) Nous vivons dans un Etat de droit".

"La DCRI a parfaitement fait son travail"

Merah: Fillon defends the work of the DCRI
"There was nothing to allow the arrest of Mohamed Merah" before he got into action, he delared on RTL. "We don't have the right, in a country like ours, to subject to permanent surveillance without a judicial order someone who hasn't committed a crime (...) The state we live in is subject to the rule of law".

"The DCRI has done its job perfectly"



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 02:28:42 PM EST

Display:

Occasional Series