We had a commenter take issue with our assertion that Muhammad, the Toulouse Terminator, did not act alone. Actually, it was not our assertion, but that of many, many people, including Jytte Klausen and Caroline Glick (whom we cited in separate posts). But no, Zooey insisted, French officials say Muhammad was a loup seul.
Sure about that?
Dozens of French Muslims are training with the Taliban in northwestern Pakistan, raising fears of future attacks following the shooting deaths of seven people in southern France by a man who spent time in the region, Pakistani intelligence officials said Saturday.
Authorities are investigating whether Muhammad Merah, the Frenchman of Algerian descent who shot to death three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three French paratroopers in Toulouse this month, was among the training group, the officials said.
Approximately 85 Frenchmen have been training with the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal area for the past three years, according to the intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Most of the men have dual nationality with France and North African countries.
The Frenchmen operate under the name Jihad-e-Islami and are being trained to use explosives and other weapons at camps near the town of Miran Shah and in the Datta Khel area, the officials said. They are led by a French commander who goes by the name Abu Tarek. Five of the men returned to France in January 2011 to find new recruits, according to the officials. It’s unclear whether Merah was among that group.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised a crackdown on French citizens found to have trained in terror camps abroad.
“Anyone who goes abroad to follow ideological courses that lead to terrorism will be criminally punished. The response will be prison,” he said in a campaign speech Saturday.
Abu Tarek: why, the very name conjures berets and baguettes, Gauloises and grenache.
But Zooey et al have their story down:
A senior French official close to the investigation into the shootings told The Associated Press on Friday that despite Merah’s claims of al Qaeda links, there was no sign he had “trained or been in contact with organized groups or jihadists.”
And how’s this for a coincidence? Two lone wolves being lone together!
Meanwhile on Saturday, Experts have used cellular tracking technology to determine that a laptop belonging to Abdelkader Merah, the brother of Muhammad Merah, was located near the Jewish school where the latter shot dead four people on Monday. The computer appeared to have been near the scene of the shooting on the day of the attack.
More about frère Abdelkader:
Police have found explosives in a car Abdelkader owned, according to the public prosecutor leading the case. He was already known to security services for having helped smuggle jihadist militants into Iraq in 2007.
A police source said on Saturday that at a closed hearing in Toulouse he had declared himself “proud” of his brother’s killings and had admitted helping Mohamed steal the scooter used in all seven murders. He had denied any knowledge of his brother’s murderous plans, however, the source added.
Quite the family, huh? Time for the disbelieving, distraught mother, I should think: a staple among terrorists.
[A] lawyer for Merah’s mother, 55-year-old Zoulhika Aziri, said she had been released without charge.
Jean-Yves Gougnaud told reporters in the southern French city of Toulouse that Aziri’s world had been “turned upside down.”
“She is devastated,” he told reporters after her release. “At no time could she have imagined that her son was the one who did it.”
Sons, plural. I believe it was Wilde who wrote: to have one son slaughter beautiful young children in cold blood may be regarded as misfortune; to have two looks like carelessness.
But back to that pesky lone wolf argument:
French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported on Sunday that during negotiations for his surrender with police, Merah admitted that he felt “endless pleasure” during the massacre at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish School last week.
As for his time in Afghanistan, Merah said that he underwent personal training rather than “collective training,” and added that his trainer wanted him to carry out attacks in Paris but he chose to start with Toulouse.
Why do you think he filmed it all? Just for personal enjoyment? At the very least, he wanted evidence for admission to paradise. They don’t hand out 72 virgins to just anybody claiming jihad. One’s damn hard to come by in this day and age, let alone 72.