March 21st, 2012
12:38 PM ET

French shooting suspect was self-styled al Qaeda jihadist

Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old man described by French authorities as a self-styled al Qaeda jihadist, has been named as the chief suspect in a series of shootings that have left seven people dead.

A picture is emerging of a man who was already known to the police and had apparently sought out Islamist jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"He claims to be a jihadist and says he belongs to al Qaeda," Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters in Toulouse. "He wanted to avenge the Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions."

A French national of Algerian origin, he had been under surveillance by French intelligence for a couple of years, having "already committed certain infractions, some with violence," Gueant told CNN affiliate BFM-TV.

Merah has spent considerable time in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gueant said.  Merah was sent back from Afghanistan to France by the U.S. Army, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said in Toulouse Wednesday.  He said Afghan police had checked Merah's identification during a traffic stop, and as a result he was handed over to the U.S. Army, which then put him on board the first plane heading to France.

But a senior U.S. military official gave a different version from the French prosecutor about what happened to the suspect in Afghanistan.

The senior U.S. military official told the CNN contributor Fran Townsend that the French shooting suspect was stopped by Afghan forces who tried to turn him over to the U.S. military. The U.S. directed them to hand Merah to French forces since he was a citizen of their country.  He was given over the French military by the Afghans and the French military decided to return him to France, according to the source.

Filed under: Afghanistan • ISAF • Military
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    to avenge the Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions."
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  14. Rabbi smearson

    Motives for propagating the Extermination Thesis

    4. What have been the motivations of Jews in their intense and prolonged dissemination of the Extermination Thesis ("Holocaust" material)?

    After their experiences during the Second World War, European Jews were more strongly attracted than ever to Zionism, the central objective of which was the founding of a secular Jewish state. Palestine was the most strongly desired location for that state, but Palestine had a large non-Jewish population which had to be dislodged by terror, murder, diplomatic and financial pressure on the British government and other means. By exaggerating the extent of Jewish mortality during the war, the proponents of the Extermination Thesis could put forth the idea that Jewish migration to various countries should be facilitated since it would be very small due to the great losses alleged. Moreover, a guilt complex could be engendered in potential host countries (especially the United States) by propagating the idea that they had been guilty of not helping Jews while they had been doomed to extermination. By constantly reiterating the "Holocaust" material, Jewish organizations could more effectively frighten Jews themselves into making larger donations for various protective measures against future "Holocausts." The Extermination Thesis has thus served to foster an ethnic awareness and solidarity amongst Jews and to prevent the loss of Jewish identity by intermarriage and other factors. In a more tangible, immediate sphere, the "Holocaust" material helped Jews and the Jewish state founded in 1948 in Palestine financially. Zionist efforts culminated in the Luxembourg agreement of 1952, which forced the west German (Bonn) government to commit itself to protracted, heavy reparation payments to individual Jews and to the newly formed Jewish state. The "Holocaust" material was also effective in repressing any criticism of the Jewish state, no matter how criminal its actions. The gross exaggeration of Jewish mortality also served to bring about a sort of "obliteration by contrast," since other groups, e.g., the Baltic nations, had suffered heavy losses during and indeed after the war at the hands of the USSR, a government which had given the impression of being heavily under Jewish influences in its earlier stages.

    March 22, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • abdul kader hashish

      I am as much a Muslim as you are a Jew. You are a hater probably a Neo Nazi or Islamo fascist.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
      • Leroy

        Tell me which is worse, having AIDS or being a jew?

        March 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • dick cheese

        jeez...what will it take to get you muslims out of the stone age? Dont you have a wife to beat, or a daughter to declitorize, or a young boy to defile?

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        March 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Guy K.

      So according to your theory, This justifies Palestinians carrying bombs on their bodies full of steel marbles & nails. Into Jewish restaurants in Israel and setting them off so to mart-er themselves in the name of Ala ? or lets not forget the teenagers who crept into a jewish family home in the dead of night and murdered a entire family of sleeping children and adults. or the palestinian fanatics who set of rockets into Israel with out guidance systems to indiscriminately land and kill anyone with in proximity ? I must admit your logic is some what twisted to justify murder at any cost is OK with you as long it is to avenge your revenge !!

      March 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
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    • Truth

      I don't know who you, or any poster, actually is. I largely agree with the description of how the holocaust has been used since, but do not have any real reason to question the figures of Jewish mortalities suffered in WWII. I do have something to say that I wish all would take note of.

      The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the one true God. There is no other. The god of Islam is not the true God; I would also even suggest that the god many Christians imagine is not the one true god. Jesus is God, to be sure...but we must be very careful not to impress our own image on Him, which is what all religions do. God has revealed Himself and will continue to do so to those who seek Him, and those who do will have to accept what He presents. We meet Him on His terms, not on ours.

      Nowhere in modern times has God commanded His followers to kill others for Him; and in fact He demonstrated and taught the opposite: His followers must offer themselves as lambs to the slaughterers, as He Himself did. This will demonstrate that divine Love triumphs over both hate and fear of death.

      Israel the State is composed of people. These people, like all people, have leaders who lead them like sheep. In Herod the Great's time, a non-Jew ruled over the Jews as King of the Jews, and those corrupt Jews in power were content with the situation because they continued in power by supporting him. But Jews are no different than other people in that they desire peace, comfort, and safety, and will give almost anyone a chance who will assert to provide it. Not all Jews supported Herod, and not all Jews support their government's actions now.

      Understand this then: what we are currently experiencing is the fulfillment of prophecy. Israel's God is preparing to humble Israel by destroying her through her jealous enemies. This suits God's purposes, and He is ultimately behind her fate. She is being framed through her success and the success of her people internationally; she is increased in wealth and in power, and all the world stands at her it or not. She will fall. But you are fools if you rejoice in that, because with her fall comes your own, and while God has promised to save "All Israel" (that is left), He has not sworn to save "All gentiles". You had best ponder that.

      Israel is respresented in the scriptures by Samson, and much like the Islamic terrorists of today, Samson commits suicide in a bid to destroy all his enemies. It will be exactly so. Israel will become led by a faithless guide, a foolish shepherd, conceivably a Muslim in his heart, an evil man who promises peace but brings destruction. Outwardly or no, Israel will be motivated by the same spirit as Islam, and it will be the world's biggest suicide mission anyone has ever seen. But the fire that starts in and destroys Israel, will engulf the entire world. Mark my words. And those of you who hate each other: Christian, Jew, Muslim...whoever: You WILL see Israel's God face to face, and fall down before Him. Get ready to meet your maker, because the time is short.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
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  15. farleftliberalnutjob

    yet another in long line of examples of the FAILED obama foreign policies

    the liar in the white house, who can't seem to find a legit birth certificate, fails yet again.
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    March 22, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
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      March 22, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • mipolitic

      Well nutjob ; you are in no way a nutjob in your post here , obama does not have a working foreign policy that is respected on the world stage and what has happened at the UN inregards to uniting nation against assad in syria is a result of a failed foreign policy incuding in afghanistan with no exit plan and also broken agreements in both nort korea and iran that we all knew would happen.

      the taliban have now a stronger hold in pakistan with much more pakistan support and also the poppy fields in afgahistan had there best opium harvest ever in 2011. obama foreign policy is a desaster !

      obama says washington is broken and we see that the usa foreign policy is also broken and the only common factor in both these cases is obama !

      March 22, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
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