'Toulouse gunman visited Israel in 2010'

Defense sources confirm that French shooter Mohamed Merah, responsible for killing 7 people in France, entered Israel through the Allenby bridge.

By
March 26, 2012 16:15
1 minute read.
Alleged photo of Mohamed Merah from French TV.

French Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/France 2 Television)

 
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French jihadi terrorist Mohamed Merah visited Israel in 2010, Israeli security forces confirmed on Monday.

Merah went on a murder spree last week, killing three French soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse, before dying in a shootout after a 30-hour standoff outside his apartment.

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“He was here for three days in September of 2010,” a security source said.

Merah entered Israel from Jordan via the Allenby border crossing. Upon his entrance, he was questioned by security forces before being allowed in. Israeli authorities say his passport was authentic.

Merah’s visit to Israel came before his trip to Afghanistan, the source said.

“We don’t know of any hostile activity he took while he was here,” the source continued.

Security services added that they are unaware of any arrest of Merah in Jerusalem for carrying a knife, as French authorities had earlier claimed.

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French authorities charged Merah’s older brother, Abdelkader Merah, on Sunday with being complicit in the premeditated murders of seven people.

Meanwhile, a group of visiting French parliamentarians paid a condolence call Monday to Shlomo Sandler, the father of Yonatan Sandler who was killed last week along with his two young sons in Toulouse.

The delegation consisted of six French parliamentarians and opinion leaders affiliated with French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for Popular Movement party visiting the country as part of Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee.

One of the participants, Guy Teissier, chairman of the National Defense and Armed Forces Commission in the French National Assembly and the mayor of Marseille, said the “ties between Israel and France” were strong, and that participating in this delegation was an “opportunity for me to show our country’s attachment to the State of Israel, an attachment which the tragedy of these past days in Toulouse has highlighted.”

In May Project Interchange brought in a similar delegation from the rival Socialist Party.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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