Mohammed Merah, 23 or 24 years old, a French man of Algerian decent was killed by French police on Thursday, March 22, 2012 after a 32 hour standoff in Toulouse, France. He is suspected of involved in killing spree that killed three French soldiers and four people including two children in a Jewish school since March 19, 2012 shocking the entire world. French police has taken his mother and brother into custody for questioning.
This is believed to be the countries first homegrown terrorist act and first terror related activity since 1990s. Merah claimed to have connection to “Al-Qaeda” and received weapons and terror training in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the French police believe that he is not associated with an organized terror group in France and acted alone.
French police surrounded his apartment, evacuated people in nearby properties, and cut gas and electricity to the area. A camera that has been lowered into the unit didn’t see anyone inside. When police raided the apartment, Merah surprised them by hiding in the bathroom and a hail of gunfire erupted shocking the police. Merah apparently jumped through a window while firing at the police and was killed by a bullet into head.
Following the bombing of an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi, Syed Mohammed Kazmi, a Delhi-based freelance journalist who works for an Iranian publication, has been arrested by the police. Investigations showed that he was in touch with the suspect who may have been responsible for the bombing which involved placing a magnetic bomb on the Israeli diplomat’s car.
Among the injured were Tal Yehoshua-Koren, an Israeli defense official’s wife, the driver of the vehicle and two other people in a nearby car. Also, on the same day, a similar bomb was found on an Israeli diplomat’s car in Tbilis, the capital of Georgia, and defused. The arrest was made after scouring the journalist’s home for any hint of evidence but no further information was provided.
While Israel has accused Iran, Indian officials remain silent over the issue while investigations are underway to verify Iran’s involvement in the attacks. Since India is dependent on Iran for oil, this puts the country’s officials under pressure to take sides on the matter especially since Tehran has denied the accusations that it is encouraging state terrorism. Israel has also stated that military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities are not an option that they have ruled out in view of increasing attacks on Israelis.
Despite India being criticized for its growing economic ties with Iran, it has agreed to abide by economic sanctions on Iran by the United Nations but will not participate in the recent measures taken by the European Union and the United States to impose stricter financial restrictions on Iran.