The father of Mohamed Merah, the French terrorist who shot dead three Jewish
children, a rabbi and three soldiers in three separate attacks in Toulouse this
month, has said he will take legal action against France for his son’s
“I will ask the best lawyers and work for the rest of my life to
pay their fees. France is such a powerful country it could have arrested him
alive,” said Mohammed Benalel Merah, who lives in Algeria. “They could have
gassed him and then arrested him, but they preferred to kill him.”
commandos killed Mohamed Merah in a gun battle as he jumped from the window of
his Toulouse apartment after a 32-hour siege last Thursday.
“If I was the
father, I would remain quiet in shame,” said French Foreign Minister Alain
Juppé, who attended the funerals in Jerusalem of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler; his two
sons, Arieh, five, and Gabriel, three; and Myriam Monsenego, eight.
is within his rights, but a word comes to my mind: indecency,” said Henri
Gaiano, an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “This man was a monster,
a cold-blooded killer.”
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera television said on Tuesday
it would not broadcast video footage of the shootings filmed by Merah, who used
a camera strapped to his body as he carried out the attack from a scooter
outside the Ozar Hatorah school on March 19.
The Qatar-based news network
also said it was declining all requests from other media outlets for copies of
French Jews expressed outrage on Tuesday that Al Jazeera had
considered airing footage of the rampage.
Richard Prasquier, the head of
CRIF, the country’s Jewish umbrella group, lashed out at the Qatari-based
television network, saying it should not have announced it was thinking about
broadcasting the images.
“Even the idea of playing with the possibility
of sending these images is outrageous,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We now
quite feel one of the consequence [is that] the images would spark new
Prasquier said he learned the network was contemplating
showing the footage during a meeting in Paris with relatives of those murdered
at the Ozar Hatorah school.
“The families were shocked, we were all
shocked,” he said.
The French government and the CSA broadcast regulator
had urged television channels to refrain from running the video
“In accordance with Al Jazeera’s Code of Ethics, given the video
does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news
channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents,” a spokesman for the
The spokesman said Al Jazeera had passed the video footage
on to the French police to help with its investigation.
received a computer memory stick at its Paris bureau late on Monday that had
been mailed anonymously from Toulouse last week, as police laid siege to Merah’s
The memory stick contained footage of the three shootings in
chronological order, edited together with Islamic chants and readings from the
Koran, Al Jazeera’s Paris bureau chief Zied Tarrouche told BFM TV.
sent a copy of the film to the network’s headquarters in Doha for management to
decide how to proceed.
Several hours later the news network said it had
decided not to air the video.
Before Al Jazeera’s decision, Sarkozy had
urged all television stations to refrain from broadcasting the video.
call on executives of all TV stations that may have the images in their
possession not to broadcast them under any pretext out of respect for the
victims and for France,” he said.
Valérie Hoffenberg, a Jewish politician
running for the French parliament, said both Jewish and Muslim families had
asked the network not to show the video.
“If [Al Jazeera] really
considered showing it then it’s a disgrace, but what’s important is that they
decided not to do it,” she said.
She credited her political patron
Sarkozy for dissuading the Qatari media outlet from showing the
“You have to take into consideration that Al Jazeera in the past
had no problem to show the execution of [US Jewish journalist] Daniel Pearl, but
this time Sarkozy intervened,” Hoffenberg said.
Reuters contributed to
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