A local French newspaper published on Thursday an in-depth testimony of a woman claiming that she had warned authorities multiple times that the suspect in the Toulouse killings, Mohamed Merah, was a danger to the public.
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The woman, who did not provide her real name, told Le Télégramme that upon discovering the suspect’s identity, she felt as though her “legs were cut off.” According to her, the fact that it was necessary for the deaths to occur in order to finally arrest Merah was a “huge misstep.” She further claimed that she had filed two complaints against the suspect, and returned and warned authorities several times to no avail.
The woman, who lives in the same neighborhood as Merah in Toulouse, told Le Télégramme that in the summer of 2010, the suspect attempted to recruit her son to jihad. The son, who at the time was 15 years old, was taken to the suspect’s car where he listened to a disc of preaching for holy war. He then drove her son to his apartment, where he presented him with a Koran and a large sword, and forced him to watch gruesome Al-Qaida videos in which women were shot and hostages in Afghanistan were beheaded.
“My son called me and we were finally able to get him out of there. He was there from 5 P.M. until midnight,” the woman said.
The mother filed a complaint with the police, which according to her caused Merah to become upset. “He came to the front of our home, threatened me and hit me. He said that I was an atheist and that I must pay like all the rest of France’s citizens,” she said.
She further stated that Merah claimed he would “wipe out all those who kill Muslims.” She stated that two days after the incident, Merah struck her son and daughter in the presence of eyewitnesses. However, no one intervened. The mother still has a copy of the complaint that was filed, as well as her daughter’s medical documents.
The woman also stated that the “true mind” behind the suspect was his brother Abdelkader, who is currently in police custody. “It is he who brainwashed [Merah] and often flew out of France,” she said.