Toulouse Victims Want Probe Into Rampage

Relatives Ask If Authorities Should Have Done More

getty images

By JTA

Published November 01, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The families of the victims of Mohammed Merah have called for a parliamentary inquiry into failures that allowed him to murder four Jews and three soldiers in the Toulouse area.

The families’ attorney, Patrick Klugman, said the parliament should set up a committee of inquiry in light of the findings of a recent report, which named “objective failures” in the authorities’ handling of Merah, a 23-year-old Muslim radical whom police killed in a gun fight after the murders.

The report by France’s police comptroller unit said the failures meant that French authorities miscalculated the threat posed by Merah.

Klugman made the statement Wednesday to France Inter, a radio broadcaster, on the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first visit to the school where on March 19 Merah gunned down his Jewish victims, a rabbi and three children. Netanyahu announced he would visit there with French President Francois Hollande.

At the moment, “there is no official instance represented in the investigation that can clear the barriers and evaluate all the conflicting accounts,” said Klugman, a former president of France’s Union of French Jewish Students and well-known campaigner against anti-Semitism.

Merah, who had made several trips to trouble spots in the Middle East and thousands of telephone calls all over the world, had been under some form of surveillance for approximately two years before he struck, but only in November 2011 did his file reach the French domestic intelligence agency DCRI.

Liberation, a French daily, revealed on Oct. 31 that two police officers from Toulouse, Christian Ballé-Andui and an agent identified only as “Hassan,” recommended that their superior consider arresting the already radicalized Merah as early as June 2011 for conspiring to commit a crime. Their warnings went unheeded.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.