French Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/France 2 Television)
France reduced the surveillance of Mohamed Merah, the gunman who killed seven
people in Toulouse last March, months before his attacks, French media reported
The reports cited leaked documents from the country’s domestic
Merah gunned down four Jewish people in the
southern French city during his killing spree, including three children outside
of a local Jewish school, along with three soldiers.
According to these
documents received by AFP, agents of the intelligence service decided to reduce
their surveillance of the then-suspect, who was under intense surveillance
The intelligence services were monitoring Merah since
2006, but he bore closer scrutiny in January after he came back from
Afghanistan, where he was detained in November 2010.
revealed that between March and July 2011, he was suspected of being in contact
with “radical Islamist movements in Toulouse,” having a “paranoid behavior” and
receiving funds from extremists.
But in November, the intelligence
services decided that only “selective” monitoring was required for him, since
there existed “no link between Mohamed Merah and an eventual jihadist
Merah, 26, was killed during an assault launched by a special
anti-terrorist unit of the French police at his apartment in Toulouse, a few
days after he committed the murders.