PARIS – Souad Merah, the sister of the French-Algerian Islamist terrorist Muhammad Merah, has disappeared.
Investigators suspect she left French territory for Syria, where she could have joined the forces of the jihadist rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime.
“The authorities are trying to find out the location of the sister and her companion, whose paths were lost in the Toulouse region,” the francetvinfo website reported on Thursday.
French RTL radio station reported on Wednesday that Souad Merah went to Syria to join her boyfriend, who already left Toulouse in southern France with his first wife and their children.
Souad Merah is a Salafi, a follower of rigorous Islam. She has been arrested twice in the past, the first time for inciting terrorism after being secretly recorded saying she was proud of her young brother.
Muhammad Merah killed seven people in March 2012 in the Toulouse region: Three French soldiers and four Jews – three of them children, and the father of two of them. The special anti-terrorist unit of the French police later shot him dead.
The older brother of the killer, Abdelkader, is under arrest for the past two years for his participation in the preparation of the attacks.
Some 30 people have been arrested and interrogated in the past two years for their involvement in the attacks, among them Merah’s mother, Zoulikha Aziri, but most of them have been released.
The Merah affair is the most traumatic anti-Semitic event in the recent history of French Jewry. Since the tragedy, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country increased and immigration to Israel is continuously growing.
On Sunday, citizens in European Union countries are set to vote for EU institutions, and the far Right is expected to win and gain influence in France and other countries. This is not a central issue for the local Jewish community, however, which suffers anti-Semitic attacks mainly from the far Left and the Muslim population in France.