Toulouse shooter, French spy?

An Italian newspaper reports that Merah may have been an protected asset of France's intelligence agency

Topics: GlobalPost, France,

Toulouse shooter, French spy?
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Mohammed Merah, the gunman who killed seven people including three Jewish children, may have been a protected asset of French Intelligence, Il Foglio, an Italian newspaper reported on Thursday, raising further questions about whether authorities may have had a chance to prevent the attacks.

Global PostThe 23-year-old, who was a French citizen of Algerian origin, also killed three Muslim soldiers, before being killed at the end of a 32-hour standoff in an apartment in Toulouse.

Now reports have emerged that Merah had traveled to Afghanistan and Israel in 2010 and had been interviewed by France’s domestic intelligence Agency, Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI).

According to Le Monde, Bernard Squaricini, head of DCRI, was quoted saying that Merah asked for a local DCRI agent by name during the standoff.

According to Squarcini, Merah shocked the agent by saying: “Anyway, I was going to call you to say I had some tip-offs for you, but actually I was going to [kill] you.”

MSNBC quoted Yves Bonnet, a former head of an intelligence agency that was merged with DCRI in 2008, as saying that having a contact at the DCRI is reason for suspicion.

“This is not trivial,” Bonnet said. “I don’t know how far his relationship, or collaboration, with the service went but it is a question worth raising.”

According to Il Foglio, Merah’s trip to Israel and Afghanistan was made with the knowledge of the French foreign secret service, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure.

A spokesman for the agency has dismissed that report, the Independent reported.

Le Canard Enchaîné newspaper reported on Wednesday that Merah and his family were bugged by the DCRI from March to November last year.



However, Squarcini has denied these reports, insisting that that Merah was not helping authorities. He was not “an informer for the DCRI or any other French or foreign services,” Squarcini said, Liberation reported.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>