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Old 03-20-2012   #1
Kevin23
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Default France, terrorism & CT (merged thread)

Over the past few days there has been a series of shooting's that have occured around Toulouse as well as elsewhere in Southwestern France.

The attacks at the moment appear to be commited by only one indivdual, and they have first targeted French military personnel mainly of African or Black origin. And yesterday there was a shooting at a Jewish school in the region that killed several people including teachers & schoolchildern.

The motives or even who the shooter might be is unknown at this time other then it probably is only one person. This comes at a bad time in France politically because of the French Presidental race.

Initial thoughts were focused on Islamic extremists committing these acts, but the police are also equally looking at the possibilty that Neo-Nazi's or other's on the right-right might be behind this. As well the possibilty that it could just be a lone nutcase with no agenda other then harming other people.

There is nothing else to suggest the motives of this gunman, other then the occupations or ethnicty of the victims, which in the latter aspect could only be concidental in the case of the French military personnel shot.

This is an interesting series of incidents though.

Any thoughts on it?

http://www.france24.com/en/20120320-...iller-toulouse
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Old 03-20-2012   #2
M-A Lagrange
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Initial thoughts were focused on Islamic extremists committing these acts, but the police are also equally looking at the possibilty that Neo-Nazi's or other's on the right-right might be behind this. As well the possibilty that it could just be a lone nutcase with no agenda other then harming other people.
In France, at least in the media I read, initial thoughts were just incomprehension and shock in front of such barbarian act. From all communities and religious groups.
Those tragic events are taking place during the presidential campaign. It is occuring after French politicians had several quite radical speetch.
I hope this will bring some decency in this campaign.
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Old 03-20-2012   #3
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The French consider the official end of the Algerian War to be on 19 March 1962 - fifty years ago to the day. Wonder if there's a tie-in?
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Old 03-20-2012   #4
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Focus fell Tuesday on three paratroopers who had been expelled from their regiment near Toulouse in 2008 for neo-Nazi sympathies, a police official said. The killer on Monday handled large-caliber guns with expertise, leading some to suspect he had a military or police background.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...-paratroopers/
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Old 03-20-2012   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
In France, at least in the media I read, initial thoughts were just incomprehension and shock in front of such barbarian act. From all communities and religious groups.
Those tragic events are taking place during the presidential campaign. It is occuring after French politicians had several quite radical speetch.
I hope this will bring some decency in this campaign.
I understand campaigning has been quite heated in the country with Sarko desperate to win another term. However, from I hear the right(esp.the FN led by Marie Le Pen) has been quite tame in terms of their rhetoric?

I.e. they haven't attacked the groups that have fell victim to the violence over the past week?
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Old 03-20-2012   #6
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Default Excluded as suspects & a note

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
Focus fell Tuesday on three paratroopers who had been expelled from their regiment near Toulouse in 2008 for neo-Nazi sympathies, a police official said. The killer on Monday handled large-caliber guns with expertise, leading some to suspect he had a military or police background.http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...-paratroopers/
I heard / read that these three have already been arrested and excluded from the investigation.

Earlier today much was being made of the murderer wearing a high risk sports camera on his chest, as recommended by a Mr Brevik,
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Old 03-21-2012   #7
M-A Lagrange
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It is too early, as I post to tell what is really going on.
A man who claims to be a "salafist" is tranched in a house and RAID (swat team) are conducting an assault, right now.

According to internal security minister, the man said he wanted to advenge the children of Palestine.

May be... It just does not make any sense. If it is him, he killed without distinctions muslim, catholic, jews, arabs, black, white, adults and children.
I hope they get him alive so he will have to face the justice of Men and see there is no escape.
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Old 03-21-2012   #8
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Time will tell, but heard on a news program yesterday that the attacks were four days apart and if the pattern continues the next attack will be on Thursday (local time in France), so I'm sure the police are out in full force trying to pre-empt the next attack. If I recall I believe this was also a Muslim holiday, but can't recall which one.
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Old 03-21-2012   #9
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Some precisions on the suspected killer are coming out.
He is 24 years and has been travelling in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is Muslim and claims to be salafist and close to AQ.

That said, there are still no proof he is part of AQ. He is part of the people who are under security services surveillance and was part of the several suspects after military were assassinated.

Apparently he received support from a member of his familly but it has to be confirmed.

Extreme Right candidate is already trying to take advantage of this event.
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Old 03-21-2012   #10
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Default BBC News report

A developing situation and quite a full story:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17446999 and the rolling news report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17455224

Quote:
The man, named as Mohammed Merah, 24, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, has said he belongs to al-Qaeda and acted to "avenge Palestinian children"....They say the suspect was arrested in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2010 for unspecified, but not terrorist-related, criminal acts and also has a criminal record in France.
This is a classic:
Quote:
The suspect's mother, who is Algerian, had been brought to the scene, but Mr Gueant (Interior Minister) said she had refused to become involved as "she had little influence on him".
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Old 03-21-2012   #11
M-A Lagrange
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According to the news coming from France, the killer acted alone, despite claiming being part of AQ.
He is known of the police because of a dozen of criminal records. He apparently went radical under the influence of a radical islam group.

The representative of the Jewish of France has called to avoid any amalgame between that particuar individual and Islam and the Muslims.
Yesterday the representative of Islam in France expressed his condoleances to the jewish community and this morning he said that this particular individual was puting shame on all the Muslim in France and was not acting according Islam.

To be clear: the man hunted down a 6 years old girl before shooting her in the head! This has shocked everybody in France. The fact she was jewish has little to do with the reaction of the comon people.
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Old 03-21-2012   #12
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Report from CNN,

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/21/world/...html?hpt=hp_t1
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Old 03-21-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
The representative of the Jewish of France has called to avoid any amalgame between that particuar individual and Islam and the Muslims.
Yesterday the representative of Islam in France expressed his condoleances to the jewish community and this morning he said that this particular individual was puting shame on all the Muslim in France and was not acting according Islam.
M-A, what is the source for that?
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Old 03-21-2012   #14
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Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
M-A, what is the source for that?
the news paper Le Monde on its live actuallity follow up. And other news papers in France. I did not post the source as it is in French and is of little use for most of the SWJ followers.
http://www.lemonde.fr/popup/live/1671851/

Palestinian authorities also announced they reject the excuse of advenging the assassination of Palestinian children to justify the assassination of 4 and 5 years old boys and 7 years old girl.

Also, after several information stating that the killer had been imprisonned in Kandahar in 2007, Kandahar authorities denied saying that a man nickednamed "the French" with the same name was imprisonned at the dates mentioned but it is not the killer.
Quote:
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 a difficult time in France: it is the presidential campaign and hatery speetches have been used by many candidates, mainly the majority and extrem right wing.
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Old 03-22-2012   #15
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Default Backgrounder

When I last checked the BBC News the siege was still under-way.

Meantime ICSR has provided this backgrounder:
Quote:
News reports today have linked the Toulouse gunman responsible for the murders of seven people, now identified as French citizen Mohammed Merah, to a recently banned French extremist group with connections to Britain.

Named Forsane Alizza (FA – the Knights of Pride), the group bears many similarities to the UK-based al-Muhajiroun/Islam4UK network.
Later a comment that has far wider implications:
Quote:
If anything, the group illustrates how fluid the boundaries are between terrorism and ostensibly non-violent groups such as FA. According to a 2010 CSC survey, 15% of UK nationals convicted of Al-Qaeda related terrorist offences had links to FA’s British ‘sister group’, al Muhajiroun. While having no direct links, experts believe that al Muhajiroun has served as a ‘gateway’ into terrorism, providing ideological indoctrination and access to recruiters and Al-Qaeda ‘middle managers’.
Link:http://www.icsr.info/news/icsr-insig...-uk-extremists

The only reference to the alleged links to a banned French extremist group I could find quickly was this on the BBC:
Quote:
French news channel BFM TV said he was linked to Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride), an Islamist group banned last month in France.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17456541
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Old 03-22-2012   #16
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Default For insomniacs

From UK Telegraph, Toulouse siege: live

Quote:
Live coverage of the siege at the home of Mohammed Merah, the suspected Toulouse serial killer responsible for the murders of four people outside a Jewish school and three paratroopers in south west France.
Regards

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Old 03-22-2012   #17
M-A Lagrange
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Default 27 hours later...

The assault is still underway.
RAID is still negociating with the suspect. They clearly play the clock and exhaustion to catch him alive.
(All is coming from Le Monde Live).

According to informations the suspect gave to the RAID, the school attack was an opportunistic attack. That day he was looking for military and did not find any so he turned on the school.
Also he claims he accepted a general mission from AQ for France.

A lot of things are being said by the suspect and the media about his training, his engagement, his links (real or dreamed) with AQ with radical Islam...
Not all makes sense. As usual much is coming out from his past with various people saying I called the police, I told the police... What is sure is that he was under surveillance by French secret services, he was suspected since the seccond assassination and that he is acting weird for a terrorist. (according to the men from RAID)

The suspect is not a lonely extrememist like Brevnik, he is not a radical terrorist with strong mental training... He is most probably a man who self radicalised and then tried to get in touch with radical Islamist groups. He was not alone (his brother has been arrested an a car full of weapons was founf with him) but was not part of a known group...

The other question now is how did he get the funds and the logistic to get that many war weapons in France. Cause France is not US, you don't just go to the grosserie store to get an AK and a UZI. Basically you pay 1000 time their price and get it through criminal networks with a 95% of chances to get screwed in the process.
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Old 03-22-2012   #18
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Default Why people do not denonciate such crazy crimes?

Tueries de Toulouse et de Montauban : une femme activement recherche
http://fr.news.yahoo.com/tuerie-toul...192000359.html
Montauban and Toulouse killings: Police is actively searching for a woman.

Since several days, the police is looking for a woman who was on the phone with the suspect just few minutes before the attack on the school. She was in a train in the Paris area. Apparently, according to another article, she was in tears asking the suspect to stop killing. She is now wanted for non denonciation of a terrorist crime.
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Old 03-22-2012   #19
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Suspect is thought to be dead
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Old 03-22-2012   #20
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Default It's over

The suspect Mohamed Merha died during the assault by RAID. During the exchange of fire inside the appartment, 300 live ammunitions have been fired and several explosives (at least 3 detonnations) have been used.
3 police men have been injured, one is said critical, during the final phase which started around 10.30 AM and ended around 11.30AM.

The suspect after saying he wanted to surrender changed his mind and said he wanted to "die a gun in his hands".

Bravo pour l'equipe du RAID.
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