French police arrest two in Toulouse killings probe

Police arrest accomplices of gunman who killed soldiers, rabbi, 3 Jewish children; French minister says Merah not a "lone wolf."

January 30, 2013 09:45
1 minute read.
French police guard Ozar Hatorah Jewish school

French police guard Ozar Hatorah Jewish school EMBED (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot)


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Two new suspects in the Merah affair were arrested in Toulouse on Tuesday, almost a year after Mohamed Merah killed three soldiers and four Jewish civilians in the area.

According to a judicial source, the new suspects were “acquaintances of Merah.”

They were put under close watch this weekend, before the Direction centrale du renseignement interieur (DCRI) intelligence agency arrested them early on Tuesday morning in Toulouse’s Mirail quarter, where the Merah and his brothers had many connections.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, whose ministry oversees the DCRI, told reporters at an international conference in Brussels that “the famous theory of the lone wolf doesn’t stand.”

In three separate attacks between March 11 and 19, 2012, Merah, a 23-year-old Franco-Algerian, shot seven people to death. Four of them were killed on one day outside a Jewish school in Toulouse – a teacher, his two children and the daughter of the headmaster.

On March 22, the RAID antiterrorist police killed Merah after a siege on his apartment.

Since then, the investigators have been looking for possible accomplices in the attacks. Immediately after Merah’s death, authorities arrested his older brother, Abdelkader, who seems to have participated in the preparation of the terrorist attacks, and is still under arrest. A judge most recently questioned him on January 3.

A third brother, Abdelghani, published a book in late 2012 where he evoked the hypothesis of a “third man,” citing the videos of the murders filmed by Merah.

In early December, a 38- year-old man who converted to Islam and who knew Merah, was arrested, then released.

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