French police at scene of Toulouse standoff 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the terrorist who perpetrated the Toulouse
Jewish school shootings, was charged Sunday with complicity in seven murders and
two attempted murders, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
also charged Merah with conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism and group
“There are serious indications that [the suspect] was an
accomplice in carrying out the terrorist crimes,” a French prosecutor was quoted
as saying by Le Monde on Sunday evening.
Police arrested Merah on Tuesday
night, along with his wife, as they surrounded his brother Mohamed’s
Merah was brought before a judge specializing in anti-terrorism
cases on Sunday who ordered a formal investigation and moved the gunman’s
brother to a prison for the duration of the inquiry.
A legal source told
Reuters that four judges specializing in anti-terrorism would lead an inquiry
into Mohamed Merah’s killing of three Jewish children, a rabbi and three
soldiers in three separate incidents, and investigate his elder brother
Abdelkader Merah for complicity.
“He has been placed under formal
investigation in line with the prosecutor’s requirements,” the source
Mohamed Merah was shot dead by a police sniper on Thursday as he
scrambled out of his apartment window while firing a pistol, after special-
force commandos stormed his home in the southern French city of Toulouse
following a morethan- 30-hour siege.
He earlier told police negotiators
he had carried out the three shootings in Toulouse – the first against a single
soldier, the second against three soldiers in which two were killed and the
third at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in which a rabbi and three children were
murdered – and the surrounding area to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children
and protest in Afghanistan. He said he regretted there were not more victims.
his death, the focus of the investigation has switched to Abdelkader, 29, who
was already known to security services for helping smuggle jihadist militants
into Iraq in 2007.
Police have found explosives in a car Abdelkader
owned, according to the public prosecutor leading the case. He is suspected of
playing a role in providing logistical support to his brother.
had been in detention since dawn on Wednesday as police questioned him in
Toulouse and then Paris.
A police source disclosed that at a Saturday
court hearing he had said he was “proud” of his late sibling’s killing spree and
admitted to helping Mohamed steal the scooter used in all seven murders. He
denied any knowledge of his brother’s murderous plans, however, the source
Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence head Bernard
Squarcini told the daily Le Monde on Friday that there was no evidence Merah
belonged to any radical Islamist network and that he appeared to have turned
fanatic alone.Gil Shefler contributed to this report.