In breaking news (which is still ongoing), the terrorist who attacked the Jewish school in Toulouse is being apprehended in an armed stand-off.And it turns out that he is indeed one of the “usual suspects” after all, admitting that he belongs to Al Qaeda.
French police forces raided a house in Toulouse where a 24-year-old man, a French national of Algerian decent and possibly linked to al-Qaeda, is holed up. He is suspected in the murder of four people, including three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday. The suspect’s brother was arrested. Three police officers were injured in a shoot-out.
A police source said the raid began at 3 am local time (0200 GMT) and was ongoing. Sky News reported that negotiations with the suspect have failed and that officers are preparing to storm the house.
The suspect claims to be linked to al-Qaeda, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.
“He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al-Qaeda,” Gueant told journalists at the scene of the siege.
He also said the man had been in Afghanistan. “He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions,” Gueant said.
Officers brought the suspect’s mother to the scene and tried to get her to help negotiate, but she refused, saying “she had little influence on him,” Gueant said.
Heavily armed police in bullet-proof vests and helmets cordoned off the residential area where the raid was taking place, in a leafy suburb close to the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school where Monday’s shootings took place.
The France 24 network reported that the suspect is cooperating with the police.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the four victims landed at the Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday morning. They will be buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem at 10 am on Wednesday.
Earlier fears that three discharged neo-Nazi French soldiers were responsible for the murders turned out to be unfounded when they were all located and cleared of suspicion.
It’s going to be interesting to watch the reactions from both left and right as the identity of the terrorist murderer becomes clear.