French Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/France 2 Television)
PARIS – Two suspects were arrested on Tuesday near the city of Toulouse in
southern France, where more than a year ago Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah
killed seven people, among them four Jews, before being shot dead in a standoff
outside his apartment.
Police sources said Merah’s suspected accomplices
are two men, aged 25 and 38. They were arrested early in the morning in the
Toulouse area, each in his own apartment, by investigators who believe the men
participated in the preparation of the series of deadly attacks that occurred
over the course of several days in March 2012.
The first suspect was
known to police for delinquency and drug trafficking.
He might have helped
Merah in stealing the scooter he drove while committing the murders.
second suspect is close to Merah’s brother, Abdelkader, who remains under arrest
as a suspect.
Other suspects have been arrested but then
The investigators have looked for accomplices in France and
outside the country, looking to see whether contributions were made in the form
of logistics, financial or ideological.
French Interior Minister Manuel
Valls rejected in January the “lone wolf” theory defended by the ex-chief of the
central directorate of interior intelligence (DCRI) Bernard Squarcini, and of
the ex-interior minister Claude Guéant.
During a memorial ceremony in
Toulouse on March 17th, held for the first anniversary of the tragedy, President
François Hollande promised to bring answers to the families of the
“Could the tragedy have been avoided? Did Merah act alone or was
he a member of a larger group? The answer must be given to the families and to
the whole of France. I give my promise,” he said.