Detailed account here:
“TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – French police launched an assault late on Wednesday on an apartment where a gunman suspected of killing seven people in the name of al Qaeda was holed up, officials said.
Three loud blasts were heard at the site in the southwest city of Toulouse just before midnight, which blew open the door of the apartment where the gunman had been holed up since 3 a.m. (10.00 p.m. EDT), a police source said.”
With MANY THANKS To John Irish,Daniel Flynn, And Reuters. Read More Here:“French Police Launch Assault On Besieged Gunman”
“Police decided to move in after negotiations broke down and he threatened to start killing officers.
Following Merah’s death, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said an investigation has now been launched to see if he had any accomplices.
He also said anyone who regularly visits ‘websites which support terrorism or call for hate or violence will be punished by the law.’
And he promised a crackdown on anyone who goes abroad ‘for the purposes of indoctrination in terrorist ideology’.
This morning police turned powerful spotlights on Merah’s building to try and blind him and keep him from seeing the operation closing in around him.
He had said he wanted to ‘die with weapons in his hands’.
But there were earlier suspicions he may have committed suicide.
This was because he had not made contact since late last night.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant earlier said it was unclear whether he was still alive, adding: ‘There was no movement during the night. We hope he is still alive.
‘Despite renewed efforts all through the night to re-establish contact by voice and radio, there has been no contact, no showing from him.’
‘We have one priority – to take him alive so that he can surrender to face justice.
‘It has been quite strange that he did not react to the explosions and gunfire overnight.”
Recent polling in both France and in Europe shows a GROWING ANTI-SEMITISM:
“The French have grown more likely to believe that Jews hold too much power in business or world finance, as well as other “classical anti-Semitic notions,” according to a new survey from the Anti-Defamation League that compares attitudes in 2009 and 2012.
The poll, released Tuesday, found nearly half of the French people surveyed said they think it is “probably true” that Jews there are more loyal to Israel than France, an increase from years past. Asked if Jews “still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” more than a third of the respondents agreed.
Bias against Jews is in the spotlight in France after a gunman killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday. The French interior minister said the alleged attacker, suspected to have links to a group associated with Al Qaeda, said he shot them in revenge for the killing of Palestinian children.
Attacks on French Jews fell last year, with 389 incidents ranging from violence to vandalism reported, but the aggressiveness of the attacks rose, said the Protection Service for the Jewish Community, which provides security for synagogues and Jewish celebrations, the Associated Press reported.”
This is sure certain worrying sign.
With MANY THANKS To Both Emily Alpert And The LA Times Blog, World. Read More Here:“Poll: “Anti-Semitic Notions” On Rise Among French, Other Europeans”
- French police launch assault on besieged gunman (video) (windsorstar.com)
- ‘Wants to die with weapons in hand’: Toulouse gunman may already be dead (rt.com)
- Gunman In Toulouse Stand-Off ‘Wants To Die’ (news.sky.com)
- French police besiege ‘al-Qaida’ gunman who claimed murders (video) (vancouversun.com)
- Besieged gunman boasted he brought France to its knees (vancouversun.com)
- France gunman stays holed up, cops “waiting” (cbsnews.com)
- French police corner shootings suspect (windsorstar.com)
- French riot police pressure gunman to surrender (newsok.com)
- French police corner shootings suspect (vancouversun.com)
- French police corner shootings suspect (video) (calgaryherald.com)