Killings in France 13 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 6 years ago

BBC News - Toulouse Jewish shootings and French army attacks linked

Toulouse Jewish shootings and French army attacks linked

French police are linking the shootings of four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse to the killings of three soldiers of North African descent in two separate incidents last week.

The same gun and the same stolen scooter were used in all three attacks, sources close to the investigation say.

A teacher and three children were shot dead at the Ozar Hatorah school, and a teenage boy was seriously injured.

One of the biggest manhunts in France in recent times is now under way.

Investigations are pursuing two principal lines of inquiry: an Islamist motive or the far right. High alert

President Nicolas Sarkozy, who flew to Toulouse in the wake of the attack, described it as a "national tragedy". He said a single person had carried out all three attacks and that an "anti-Semitic motive" seemed obvious.

Guards are to be posted outside all faith-based schools, as well as all Jewish and Muslim religious buildings, he said.

Mr Sarkozy has also placed south-west France on the highest level of terrorism alert.

All schools in France will observe a minute's silence on Tuesday morning at 11:00 (10:00 GMT).

The latest shootings took place as parents were taking their children to the school on Monday morning.

Witnesses said the gunman pulled up on a black scooter and began shooting at an area which serves as the drop-off point for the school's nursery- and primary-age children.

"This man alighted from his moped and, as he was outside the school, he shot at everybody who was near him, children or adults. Children were chased right into the school," local prosecutor Michel Valet told journalists.

The scooter - a black Yamaha - was stolen in Toulouse on 6 March, five days before the first shooting. Its number plate was picked up by closed-circuit TV cameras at the school, police sources said.

The dead were Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old rabbi and teacher of religion originally from Jerusalem, and his two sons, aged three and six. The fourth person killed was an eight-year-old girl, daughter of the head teacher.

All the dead were dual French-Israeli nationals and will be buried in Israel, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

A 17-year-old boy was seriously hurt. The head of Toulouse's Jewish community told the AFP news agency the boy had undergone several operations but he was likely to recover.

Initially, the killer used a 9mm gun, but when it jammed, he switched to a .45 calibre weapon.

Police say the .45 was the same gun used to kill three soldiers in two separate shootings in Toulouse and the nearby city of Montauban last week. All three were of North African or Caribbean origin.

A paratrooper out of uniform was shot dead in a residential area of Toulouse just over a week ago, while two soldiers were killed and a third wounded as they used a cash machine in the town of Montauban, some 29 miles (46km) away, on Thursday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "a loathsome murder of Jews, which included small children" and said an anti-Semitic motive could not be ruled out.

All the candidates in the French presidential election have suspended campaigning. Mr Sarkozy said his campaign would remain suspended until Wednesday at the earliest, when he is due to attend the soldiers' funerals.

As well as Mr Sarkozy, opposition Socialist candidate Francois Hollande visited Toulouse to offer his condolences. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen called on the authorities to do everything to prevent another such attack.

In the UK, Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the attack. "This act of calculated cruelty will unite all decent people in revulsion and condemnation," he said.

The BBC's Hugh Schofield, in Paris, says not since the 1970s and early 80s have there been lethal attacks like this in France on Jewish targets. And even then, children were never the primary victims, he says.

Six people were killed and 22 injured in an attack in 1982 on a Jewish restaurant in Paris. France has the largest Jewish community in western Europe, numbering some 500,000.

You can read more on the killings of the three French paratroopers here. Those occurred earlier, and police were still investigating those when the attack on the Jewish school occurred. Police have matched the three attacks (one soldier, then a pair of soldiers, then the school) by showing the same weapon and same scooter was used in the attacks. Politicians have naturally promised a fierce response to it, with both President Sarkozy and his main opponent in the polls issuing statements.

As to what may've caused it and the motives, that's still not clear until the perpetrator(s?) is caught. As far as race and ethnicity goes, the three sodliers were of North African descent and those killed at the school were Jewish, so the two popular speculations are either A. a nationalist nut of some sort attacking the popular immigrant scapegoat (North African) and Jews, or B. Islamic extremist attacking the soldiers for 'betrayal' in Afghanistan and again, Jews.

Government has for the time being elevated this general part of France to 'scarlet, or terror alert'.




Red Menace

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#2 6 years ago

I wonder if he is wearing a helmet? I imagine he is and it will most likely make him hard to catch since he is probably covered head to toe in riding gear. Unidentifiable, on a stolen scooter he can easily ditch and steal another of to continue his escapades or now that the heat is on him, just disappear.

As I lived in the greater Los Angeles area for many years, I became accustomed to watching police chases. The only person I ever saw get away was a motorcyclists on a stolen bike. As he was unidentifiable, he ditched the bike in a mall parking garage, took off his riding gear and disappeared into the mall. I don't know if they ever ended up catching him.


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Commissar MercZ

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#3 6 years ago

Red Menace;5623640I wonder if he is wearing a helmet? I imagine he is and it will most likely make him hard to catch since he is probably covered head to toe in riding gear. Unidentifiable, on a stolen scooter he can easily ditch and steal another of to continue his escapades or now that the heat is on him, just disappear.

As I lived in the greater Los Angeles area for many years, I became accustomed to watching police chases. The only person I ever saw get away was a motorcyclists on a stolen bike. As he was unidentifiable, he ditched the bike in a mall parking garage, took off his riding gear and disappeared into the mall. I don't know if they ever ended up catching him.

He is wearing a helmet in all the incidents, it's why identification hasn't been possible or warnings to look out for individuals matching the appearance like they would do in other such cases. For example with the security footage in the school where the Jewish students were shot, he was seen with a helmet and eyewitnesses from the paratrooper shootings also said the same thing- a motorcycle helmet with the visor down.

Though the analysis of the security footage has led the investigators to another discovery, believing the shooter may have in fact recorded everything, as they have seen what appears to be a camera on the person. The article there also points out he never removed his motorcycle helmet.




Commissar MercZ

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#4 6 years ago

French police have raided the home of a potential suspect, and report two injuries sustained from a shootout. Following article gives more on the raid, including the potential suspect who is listed as a 24 year old male. His brother was apprehended before the shoot out. He has been on the intelligence services' radar due to trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has had made comments in the past saying that there must be revenge for children killed in Gaza, and reportedly said he has 'allegiance' with al Qaeda when the police tried to raid him (?). As such he was among the suspects targeted by French police after moving on from 3 neo-nazi's who were discharged from the military some years back. The raid was sudden, and it is not clear whether it's a 'person of interest' or the police have tied the killings to him.

French police surround school killing suspect - Europe - Al Jazeera English

The raid came amid a massive manhunt for the killer of the shooting [EPA]

Two French police officers have been injured in a shootout during a raid on a house to arrest a man suspected of killing three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in southwest France this week, a police source said.

The source said the raid began at 03:00am local time (02:00 GMT), but did not provide further details.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Toulouse, said the raid "was ongoing" but that there are "very limited details on what is going on".

"More details are filtering through via French news television ... Gunshots have been heard and we're hearing reports that a 24-year-old man is being held up in the house in the north of Toulouse.

Funerals of the rabbi and three children killed in Monday's attack are due in Jerusalem in coming hours [Reuters]

"The French interior minister has arrived on the scene to oversee the operation - this is very much a developing situation at the moment and we are only getting very limited details," she said.

Speaking to journalists in Toulouse, Claude Gueant, the French Interior Minister, said that Siege is still under way, the suspect is a 24-year-old French man.

He claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda armed group and that he was avenging Palestinian children killed in Gaza.

The raid came as bodies of the victims gunned down in southern France arrived in Israel after it was flown by Israeli El Al airlines.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe along with 50 relatives and friends of the victims accompanied the bodies as they were flown home.

Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old Frenchman, his two sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4 as well as seven-year-old Myriam Monsonego will be buried later on Wednesday morning at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem, according to the Israeli embassy in France.

President Nicolas Sarkozy paid silent homage to the victims on Tuesday at a school in Paris close to the city's Holocaust memorial, and afterwards admitted that authorities had as yet no clue as to the identity of the killer.

"Anti-Semitism is obvious. The Jewish school attack was an anti-Semitic crime," Sarkozy told reporters at the Paris school after meeting children.

French investigators fear the same gunman also killed three soldiers in two recent separate attacks and may strike again.

The soldiers were French citizens of North African origin, while another who was critically wounded in the attack was black and from the French West Indies.

Massive manhunt

French police on Monday launched a huge manhunt after the shooting and the region was put on its highest level of security alert.

More than 100 officers were dispatched to the area to search for the gunman, who is also a prime suspect in the killing of three soldiers in two separate shootings last week.

Police said that the same weapon and the same stolen scooter appeared to have been used in all three attacks.

All three attacks were carried out by the rider using a .45-calibre weapon, who witnesses described as calmly shooting his victims.

The gunman may also have recorded the attack with an extreme sports video camera strapped to his chest, Claude Gueant, the French interior minister, said.

"A witness saw a small video camera around the killer's neck," Gueant told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday.

"It's a video camera worn in a harness on the chest and indeed he was seen, a witness said so, with this device," Gueant said. "I don't know if he filmed everything."

Victims shot in the head

All seven people slain in three attacks were shot in the head at point blank range, the prosecutor leading the investigation said on Tuesday.

Francois Molins, who as Paris' chief prosecutor oversees counter-terrorism inquiries, said the unidentified gunman knew that he was being hunted and warned that he was therefore "likely to act again".

Our correspondent said authorities believed the gunman may have recorded the killings to raise his profile.

"Police have been searching the internet for any video trace of those images that the gunman may have potentially been recording," Rowland said.

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who last July went on a shooting spree that killed 77 people, mostly children, advised anyone wanting to carry out copycat killings to film their attack using such a camera.

"This extremely small and lightweight field camera is used to document your operation," Behring Breivik wrote in an online manifesto published shortly before the killings.

As the article points out the Jewish children have been taken to Israel for burial, while the three soldiers will be buried in France in a service that will be attended by figures in the government.

BBC has compiled short biographies of the victims of the shootings.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17443337

Seven people have been killed and two wounded in serial gun attacks in south-western France.

They came from different backgrounds and ranged from sappers in a parachute regiment involved in mine-clearing, to children barely of school age.

Here the BBC News website profiles the victims. Sgt Imad Ibn Ziaten

_59185681_014305217-1.jpg Sgt Ibn Ziaten had an unblemished military record

A paratrooper in the 1st Airborne Transportation Regiment based in Toulouse, the 30-year-old was shot dead in a quiet district of the city on Sunday 11 March, while waiting to show a motorcycle he was hoping to sell.

Police sources believe the killer had arranged to meet him on the basis of his online small ad for the Suzuki Bandit.

A career soldier, the staff sergeant had served eight years with distinction in the French military and had an unblemished record, prosecutors said.

Divorced and with no children, he had a girlfriend but they did not live together, according to local newspaper La Depeche.

On the day he was killed, he was not in uniform.

The killer may not have known Sgt Ibn Ziaten was of North African origin as he had not given his name in the small ad. He had written that he was a soldier.

Cpl Abel Chennouf

_59168220_014285466-1.jpgMurder victim Abel Chennouf (left) was due to become a father with his partner (right)

A paratrooper in the 17th Airborne Combat Engineering Regiment, the 25-year-old was shot dead as he stood outside a cash machine in Montauban on Thursday 15 March with two of his fellow sappers.

He was born in the village of Manduel in the Gard region, near the city of Nimes, and was a practising Roman Catholic with North African roots, the regional newspaper Midi Libre reports.

His girlfriend, Caroline Monet, is expecting a baby in May, her grandmother, Francette Mendoza, told AFP news agency.

"He made my granddaughter so happy that we could only love him," she said, describing Corp Chennouf as a "nice boy".

Pte Mohamed Legouad

Nicknamed Shams (the Arabic word for "sun") because of his sunny disposition, the 26-year-old was from Meyzieu, near Lyon.

Joining the military in 2010, he was also serving in the 17th Airborne Combat Engineering Regiment when he was killed in Montauban.

People who saw him grow up in the town's Plantees district remembered a "nice boy, always with a smile on his lips" who was passionate about football, Le Progres newspaper reports.

"He was a very willing player on the pitch, a fighter," said Cedric Casset, who runs the Under-17 squad at Meyzieu and once played with him.

People in Plantees last saw Pte Legouad when he was home on leave at Christmas.

Shocked neighbours felt sure he had been targeted because of his Algerian origins.

Corporal Loic Liber

The third paratrooper shot in Montauban was left critically ill.

Aged 28, he is from the small town of Trois-Rivieres in the French overseas region of Guadeloupe and had joined the military five years earlier.

His parents, Jean-Luc Liber and Emilienne Jean-Baptiste, and sister Launa have arrived in France to be close to their son, according to France-Antilles newspaper.

"A nice boy who keeps good company and has lots of mates, and who wants to do something with his life," was how his father described him.

Jonathan, Gabriel and Arieh Sandler

_59185684_014308631-2.jpg Jonathan Sandler is seen here with his sons Arieh (left) and Gabriel (right), and his wife Eva and baby daughter, in an undated image

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old teacher of religion, was originally from Jerusalem but was a French citizen. His children had joint French and Israeli citizenship.

He taught at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse and was killed there along with his sons, Gabriel and Arieh, aged four and five, when the gunman struck on 19 March.

Rabbi Sandler had tried to shield his little boys from the attacker, witnesses say.

Born in Paris, he spent his life studying the Torah and working in Jewish community outreach, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

As a child, he was sent to school in Toulouse and he divided his time between Israel and France. Aharon Getz, a family friend, said Mr Sandler was a "delightful man".

"He had a wonderful connection with his fellow students and the communities in which he worked," Mr Getz added.

Rabbi Sandler's grieving pregnant wife, Eva, told a meeting of Toulouse's Jewish community that her husband had devoted himself to teaching children with learning disabilities "so they could succeed in becoming well acquainted with the Torah".

"He gave his all to this exalted goal and mission," she was quoted as saying by the Jewish Mom website.

"He wanted to bring people closer to one another, and he didn't want to give up on a single student."

In addition to his wife, Rabbi Sandler is survived by a baby daughter.

Myriam Monsonego

Aged seven, she was the daughter of the head teacher at Ozar Hatorah.

Reports say her killer grabbed her by her hair to shoot her in the head.

Like the Sandler children, she had joint citizenship and was to be buried in Israel.

Unnamed teenager

An unnamed boy aged 17 was badly wounded in the school attack but local community leaders said he was expected to survive, AFP reports.

You can look at French sources too, if you can read them. Translate shouldn't butcher it so badly. One place is Le Monde's live update feed,

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/live/2012/03/19/direct-la-fusillade-a-toulouse_1671851_3224.html




Rikupsoni

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#5 6 years ago

Ah so, it was an Islamic terrorist. These situations are always a bit ridiculous. Each side is waiting for an acknowledgment for their cause. a) "Told you, neonazis and racism against immigrants are a big problem in Europe!" b) "Told you, Islamic terrorism again, Muslims are incapable of living in Europe!"

Interesting though how Islamic and Neo-Nazi terrorism can be indistinguishable. Perhaps those neonazis who hate the Jews more than Muslims can even ally with the Islamic extremeists for some synergy benefits? What is more dangerous about the Islamic ones though is Al-Qaeda funding, if that is true in this case.




Pethegreat VIP Member

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#6 6 years ago

This incident is only going to help the far right in France. The suspect was born in France, but it appears that he did not integrate into french society. If the far right in france is anything like the right in the US they will be able to spin it into a reason to stop allowing immigration from North Africia and the middle east. They are anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim, and now they have more ammo to use in the campaigns. IIRC a far right candidate made it past the first round of elections but lost in the second round a few years back.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#7 6 years ago

It's odd. My money would have been on Paris being the next one up for this; big Ghetto community, no strong local identity, clearly defined ethnic groups.




Caprica-Six

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#8 6 years ago

Have you heard that they havent gone in yet, theres 300 police waiting it outside for 1 man.... think he said he might blow the house up or something.




Commissar MercZ

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#9 6 years ago

Pethegreat;5624080This incident is only going to help the far right in France. The suspect was born in France, but it appears that he did not integrate into french society. If the far right in france is anything like the right in the US they will be able to spin it into a reason to stop allowing immigration from North Africia and the middle east. They are anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim, and now they have more ammo to use in the campaigns. IIRC a far right candidate made it past the first round of elections but lost in the second round a few years back.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, that was Jean-Marie Le Pen. His daughter Marine Le Pen is running this time around, and interestingly she will be at the funeral of the three, dead North African-French soldiers. Not sure how some of the families there might react to that or not.

Though Sarkozy has been trying to appeal to her base for sometime though since this election will be a considerable challenge to him, so he's been going down that path of 'anti-Immigration' for awhile too.

[QUOTE=Caprica-Six;5624183]Have you heard that they havent gone in yet, theres 300 police waiting it outside for 1 man.... think he said he might blow the house up or something.

They're probably trying to find a way to bring him in alive, or it might defeat the whole purpose of trying to get him and find answers to the shooting in the first place. As things stand they've cordoned off the building and surrounded it, after the initial raid got some of the police injured. After that they brought in more police, with body armor, and basically pinned him in. It's all back and forth now, such as him exchanging a weapon for a cell phone. It seems his mother got taken into custody too along with the brother. French intelligence doesn't seem to think he's part of a larger organization though, just 'radicalized' from his exposure to al-Qaeda.

RAID, the French anti-terrorism wing of the police, seem to have evaluated him as a 'risk' and are taking it carefully. According to the live feed I'm looking at from Le Monde, it says that they've heard some 10 gunshots since the midnight, and with no action they might raid the building soon to bring it to a close.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#10 6 years ago

"For 10 years I've been saying that the threat from fundamentalists has been under-estimated. The angels of the left have held back the right. We must investigate the finances of Salafists, and certain imams. We must pursue Muslim fundamentalists." - Marine le Pen

:/

I find it interesting he essentially turned himself in. Not that he has but that he called the news and admitted to it, rather than playing things as far as they could go. Very strong parallels here with that soldier who went around and shot up the civies.




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