How much did French authorities know about Mohamed Merah, the confessed author of the Toulouse and Montauban shootings? After the cold blooded shooting of four Jewish civilians and three soldiers, the shocking tragedy leaves more unanswered questions, including the questions of a mother who does not understand why the authorities did not take seriously the threats of this young Islamist, who had beaten her children after he failed to recruit them.
In an interview with the French news agency, Le TÃ©lÃ©gramme , she calls herself Aisha. She does not understand why the French police did not stop the young Frenchman of Algerian origin Mohamed Merah, who confessed to seven murders, including the killing of three children in front of a Jewish school. During this interview, Aisha said that in June of 2010, her then 15-year-old son had been invited by Merah to his apartment to watch â€œAl-Qaeda videos,â€ that included images of women being executed by being shot in the head, and men being decapitated.
The day before her 15-year-old son was attacked by Merah, the teenager was riding around with him in his car. Her son says that Merah would listen to a CD believed to be songs and calls to go into battle. â€œHe drove my son to his home, the same home where he was entrenched when the police arrived. In his apartment, there was a huge Koran in his living room and several large swords hanging on the wall. He then forced my son to watch Al-Qaeda videos in his room from 5PM till midnight,â€ she said.
â€œI filed a police complaint against Mohamed Merah twice and insisted (to authorities) during many occasionsâ€¦Â for nothing,â€ says the mother and witness.
In her account, Aisha said that Merah retaliated against her son for having told her mother about the video images he had seen in the apartment. â€œHe came out to the street wearing a black robe with a hood, carrying a big sword, shouting â€˜Allah Akbar.â€™ He then hit my son, and my daughter tried to intervene. However, he struck her too. There were many people, but nobody did anything,â€ said Aisha, who after filing a complaint (against Merah) was also beaten and threatened by him, according to her lawyer.
Aisha kept all evidence related to this incident, including, photos, medical certificates, and her daughterâ€™s bloody dress, but for some reason, no action was taken against Merah. The incident, however, was reported by some local media.
â€œDuring the attack, he accused me of being an atheist and had to pay like all the French. He kept repeating that he was Mujahedeen and he would die as a martyr, and would erase from the earth all those who kill Muslims â€¦â€ according to her account.
One peculiar detail that emerges from the interview is that Aisha mentioned that Mohamedâ€™s older brother, Abdelkader, was the real â€œbrainâ€ of the operation (Mohamedâ€™s handler). â€œHe filled his head with ideas. He was the one who traveled frequently abroad, particularly to Egypt,â€ she recalls.
She mentions that Merah used to be an ordinary boy until a group of â€˜extremistsâ€™ came to the neighborhood, insinuating that he had been brainwashed by them. She also describes that there were some inconsistencies with Merahâ€™s behavior: â€˜While there were rumors of him going to Afghanistan, sometimes he would wear traditional clothing, and sometimes he was seen wearing western attire, riding a motorcycle, with his hair dyed blond and a fake Maori-style tattoo on his head,â€ she said.
â€œWhy, despite all my information, Mohamed Merah was not arrested? We even saw him last week, threatening us. I told the police and the prefecture several times about this series of incidents, and look at where we are now. This is incomprehensible and outrageous,â€ said the woman.