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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 (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) 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 in 2009!
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 in 2009!

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 (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) 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 (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) 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 ]

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