“He regrets nothing. He wishes he had a chance to kill more people – bring France down to its knees” – that is how French Prosecutor Francois Molins described Mohammed Merah, a Muslim Frenchman, who is the prime suspect in several terror attacks in the country.
Merah, a 23-year-old man of Algerian origin, is believed to be the gunman who perpetrated Monday’s terror attack on Ozar Hatorah Jewish School in Toulouse, as well as in the killing of three French paratroopers last week.
He refuses to surrender to authorities and his home has been the scene of a dramatic standoff with police since 2 am Wednesday.
“He claims to be a jihadist and says he belongs to al-Qaeda,” French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters in Toulouse. “He wanted to avenge the Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions.”
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said that Merah’s radical views were known to authorities, and that “he has been under surveillance by French intelligence for a couple of years.”