• France edition
 

French police: we have copies of gunman videos

Published: 27 Mar 2012 09:49 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2012 09:49 GMT+02:00

French police said on Monday they had copies of videos shot by an Islamist extremist killer during a series of shootings in and near the southern city of Toulouse that shocked the country.

The gunman's father meanwhile said he planned to sue French authorities over the killing of his son, who was gunned down by police at the end of a 32-hour standoff following the attacks that killed seven people.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, had previously boasted of filming his killings, and witnesses had told police that he appeared to be wearing a video camera in a chest harness.

A police source told AFP the footage had been seized after it was sent to the Paris office of the pan-Arabic satellite network Al-Jazeera. 

"It's a video montage of the various killings set to music and readings from the Koran," the source said, describing the footage as "sufficiently explicit".

The source said investigators had been passed a USB memory stick that had been sent to the Paris office of Al-Jazeera, a news network financed by the Qatari royal family and watched throughout the Arab world.

Detectives visited the station Monday to pick up the evidence. The source said Al-Jazeera had not broadcast the footage but had probably retained copies.

Merah was killed on Thursday after a 32-hour siege by police from the elite RAID special intervention squad on his apartment in Toulouse.

Before the fatal shootout but during the siege, Merah told police through a barricaded door that he was behind three shootings this month in which three unarmed French soldiers, three Jewish children and a teacher were killed.

He also declared that he had uploaded footage of the attacks to the Internet, although no trace of the video had been found.

Witnesses and the anti-terrorist prosecutor assigned to the case have said that the shooter appeared to be wearing a video camera of the Go-Pro type of sports cameras harnessed to his chest during the shootings.

His father Mohamed Benalel Merah hit out against France Monday for having shot his son instead of taking him alive at the end of the siege. 

"France is a big country that had the means to take my son alive. They could have knocked him out with gas and taken him in," he declared. "They preferred to kill him.

"I will hire the biggest named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay their costs. I will sue France for having killing my son."

He also said he wanted Merah to be buried in his ancestral homeland Algeria.

"God willing, I have decided to bury my son in Algeria," he said. "Mohamed has an Algerian passport and has been listed with the Algerian consulate in Toulouse since his birth."

Other family members have said they want Merah to be buried in France.

As police surrounded Merah's Toulouse apartment last week, the gunman claimed responsibility for all three attacks.

In the first two incidents he shot dead three soldiers in attacks in Toulouse and nearby Montauban.

Then last week he opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a 30-year-old teacher, his sons aged five and four, and a seven-year-old girl.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, in mid-campaign for re-election, said Monday French security services would launch a hunt for Islamic extremists following the killing spree.

"Are there other Merahs? All the security, intelligence and police services in democratic countries are on the lookout," Sarkozy told France Info radio.

He said the interior and justice ministries have been ordered to engage in a systematic evaluation of potential threats.

On Sunday authorities charged the gunman's brother, 29-year-old Abdelkader Merah, with complicity in the attacks but he denied any involvement.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French language myths
'Sacre bleu!' Do the French really say that?
"Sacrebleu! Zut alorsù! Mon Dieu!, how many of these do the French really say? Photo: Shutterstock

'Sacre bleu!' Do the French really say that?

Do the French really say "sacre blue!" or "zut alors!" when they want to curse? Or is it just a myth Anglos and their media have engineered? And if they don't use them then what do the French really say when they want to swear? READ  

TV love affair for French and German leaders
Can you imagine a real-life romance between Merkel and Hollande? Photo: AFP

TV love affair for French and German leaders

France's president and Germany's chancellor are carrying on a passionate affair, or at least that's the story line of a new German TV show. If you find the idea a bit ridiculous, there's a few critics that think so too. READ  

Woman killed by TGV train as she chases dog
Photo: Marsupilami92/Flickr

Woman killed by TGV train as she chases dog

A woman was struck and killed by a high-speed TGV train in France this week when she ran out onto the tracks to try to catch her escaped dog. It's the latest in a series of tragic accidents that have seen people killed by the trains. READ  

Julie Gayet wins privacy suit against Closer
Actress Julie Gayet, who had an affair with Hollande, won her privacy suit against Closer magazine on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Julie Gayet wins privacy suit against Closer

A French court has fined two tabloid magazine executives and a photographer over a photo of Julie Gayet, who became the subject of media hounding after her affair when President François Hollande was revealed in January. READ  

Valls vs Blair
Is Manuel Valls really a French Tony Blair?
Spot the difference. Or maybe there isn't any between Manuel Valls and Tony Blair? Photo: AFP

Is Manuel Valls really a French Tony Blair?

Is the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls really a Gallic Tony Blair? With the help of a political expert we taker a closer look to see if the oft-made comparison is fair or false. READ  

Trierweiler's new book 'won't spare' Hollande
Valerie Trierweiler has a potentially brutal book coming out on her time with President François Hollande. Photo: AFP

Trierweiler's new book 'won't spare' Hollande

A potentially explosive new memoir is due out this week from Valerie Trierwieler, France's ex-"first lady" who was dumped by the president for his mistress. The book apparently does little to "spare" François Hollande. READ  

France vows to get tough on job seekers
France orders crackdown on job seekers after it emerged tens of thousands of positions have been left unfilled. Photo:AFP

France vows to get tough on job seekers

The French labour minister has ordered a crackdown to root out those abusing unemployment benefits, after it emerged that hundreds of thousands of available jobs remain unfilled in France. READ  

Sarkozy's big return: Carla Bruni 'says non!'
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy does not want her husband to return to politics, according to reports. Photo: AFP

Sarkozy's big return: Carla Bruni 'says non!'

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy faces a few obstacles before he can fulfill his dream of becoming head of state once again - not least his numerous legal tangles. But it appears the biggest hurdle of all could be his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. READ  

Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule
Brits may soon get the right vote in the UK for the rest of their lives. Photo: Hagwall/Flickr

Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule

The Conservative party in the UK has made a bid to woo expat voters by pledging to end the controversial “15-year rule” that prevents millions of Brits abroad from being able to vote. READ  

Most French admit they 'don't know about wine'
Most French people know nothing about wine, a new survey has revealed. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Most French admit they 'don't know about wine'

It may be the country’s most famous product but more than two thirds of French people admit they know nothing about wine, according to a new poll. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
National
Unemployment: How does France compare to Europe?
International
Are all the talented professionals really leaving France?
National
La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
Travel
Check out the four new attractions coming to Paris this autumn
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
International
VIDEO: Watch the top five street scams to avoid in Paris
Politics
Take a look at the bulging to-do list that awaits France's new government
Politics
Six questions for France after Hollande ousts rebels
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se