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France assesses intelligence after Merah killings

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France assesses intelligence after Merah killings


Intelligence services in France are under the spotlight as more details emerge about the life of killer Mohamed Merah.

There are calls for an inquiry into how the known fundamentalist was able to carry out the killing spree in Toulouse.

Authorities will now begin the task of finding out if there were any intelligence failures.

“Investigators have taken Merah’s older brother in for questioning. They will now retrace Mohamed Merah’s tracks. They will contact Pakistani authorities about the last trips he made there, to see exactly who he was able to contact over there. This means, a second investigation will take place after his death,” said Rolanf Jacquard, head of the International Terrorism Observatory.

Merah is known to have visited Afghanistan and told authorities he had been trained by al-Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

French intelligence had even warned Spain when Merah travelled there in 2007.

The 23-year-old, born to Algerian parents, said he had carried out the killings because of how Palestinians are being treated by Israel.

Merah was arrested in Afghanistan in 2010. When questioned about his trip, he told French authorities he went as a tourist.

He was also on a US ‘no-fly’ list preventing his entry to America.

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