Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Toulouse Killer Mother Insists Mohammed Merah Was ‘Good and Kind Kid’

Mohammed Merah’s mother said in a first interview with French media that she did not understand what made her son kill three French soldiers and four Jews in Toulouse last year.

“I don’t understand any of it, he was a good and kind kid,” Zoulikha Aziri said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on France 3 TV. “Then he changed all at once, I don’t know why. He’s dead and took many people with him.” She said her son “never mentioned jihad.” Aziri also denied reports by other relatives that “there was talk of jihad” in the family.

The interview was part of a controversial 105-minute documentary titled “The Merah Affair: A shooter’s itinerary,” which the families of Merah’s victims unsuccessfully sought a court injunction to block.

Lawyers for the family of Jonathan Sander, the rabbi Merah killed along with two of Sander’s sons and another girl at a Jewish school on March 19, 2012, called the film “obscene.”

“There is a form of indecency and obscenity in giving the stage to the people closest to Merah,” Ariel Goldmann, one of the family’s attorneys, was quoted as telling BFMTV, a television station. Merah was killed three days after his attack at the school while trying to escape from his Toulouse home as police were preparing to raid the site.

Souad Merah, Mohammed’s sister, also was interviewed in Wednesday’s broadcast. She was questioned by French police last year after she was filmed praising her brother’s “bravery” and his actions. In November, one of Merah’s five siblings, Abdelghani Merah, said Mohammed Merah “grew up in an atmosphere of anti-Semitism.”

The film, directed by Jean-Charles Doria, also included previously unpublished security camera footage from the days that preceded the shootings and an overview of failures that prevented authorities from catching Merah before the attacks. Merah had traveled abroad multiple times to receive military training in terrorist camps.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.