Sarkozy praises security forces, calls for national unity

French president: Risking more lives to bring Toulouse killer to justice wasn't acceptable; outlines new tools for law enforcement.

March 22, 2012 14:40
1 minute read.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/France Television)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday praised security forces for ensuring that the "horrible killer" who shot to death three Jewish school children, a rabbi and three soldiers, "is no longer in a position to bring harm." Speaking less than two hours after Toulouse shooting suspect Mohamed Merah was killed in a police raid, Sarkozy outlined new tools for law enforcement to use against terrorists and called for national unity.

The French president said that everything was done in order to bring the killer to justice. Addressing his ultimate death, however, he said it had not been acceptable to risk more lives to do so.

Sarkozy called on citizens of the French Republic not to vent their anger against their fellow Muslim citizens, who "have nothing to do with these crazy terrorists."

In a press conference just over an hour after Merah was killed, Sarkozy announced new tools he and the French prime minister would implement in order to deal with terrorism suspects.

Those habitually visiting websites that praise terrorism or call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished, he said. Likewise, those going to foreign countries for terrorist training or indoctrination will be criminally punished.

Additionally, Sarkozy said he instructed his justice minister to conduct an in-depth study into the propagation of extremist ideologies in France's prison system, where Merah spent some time.

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