From Reuters yesterday:
Three suspected Islamist militants arrested in southern France appeared to be planning an attack in the days ahead, the Paris prosecutor said on Monday, the anniversary of an al Qaeda-inspired shooting that rocked France. Police found weapons and explosives at the home of one of the suspects in the town of Marignane, near Marseille, and intercepted communications between the men suggested they were close to going into action, prosecutor Francois Molins said. The three men, who were taken in for questioning last week with a fourth man who was later released, were to be placed under formal investigation later on Monday… The timing of the arrests was poignant, coming exactly a year after 23-year-old gunman Mohamed Merah began a rampage that killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers in the southern city of Toulouse. He was subsequently tracked down and killed in a shootout with police… Molins said the arrested men, in their 20s, wanted to emulate Merah. “It was clear they were training themselves in making explosives based on a jihadist radicalisation, a glorification of Mohamed Merah, and an affirmed desire to go into action.”
A year after the murderous Merah rampage, TIME Magazine reviewed what we more-or-less know now:
Twelve months after the series of attacks — which concluded with Merah’s own death after a 32-hour siege — the country is still learning details about the self-proclaimed al-Qaeda member’s transformation from petty hood to violent jihadist. Perhaps most disturbing among those revelations are indications that the nation’s domestic intelligence agency identified Merah as a potential security risk as early as 2007, yet failed to prevent the mass killings of March 2012.
According to the Time article,
In comments earlier this month, France’s Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls acknowledged that his predecessors had made “errors, failings, and faults” in handling Merah…
There’s something sadly familiar about political figures looking back at terror attacks that occurred when their rivals were in charge and declaring that it was all handled badly. Has France learned something from the Merah terror rampage? The terrorists of Hezbollah and their civilian auxiliaries are operating right under the noses of the French today. Are the ministers of the Hollande government doing something about it? If yes, what?
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