Gunman's Father Suing France

Lawyer says Mohamed Merah's wife left him days before attacks began
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2012 1:32 AM CDT
Mohamed Benallal Merah, the father of Mohamed Merah, speaks to the media in Algiers.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The father of the Toulouse gunman shot dead after a 32-hour siege last week claims his son was murdered by French special forces, and is suing France. Mohamed Merah's father, who lives in Algeria, accuses the French of not following procedure in their attempt to arrest his son, the Telegraph reports. "If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame," responded French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe."

A lawyer who represented Merah after previous run-ins with the law says his client had "psychological difficulties," and suggests the father, who abandoned the family when Merah was 5, should share the blame for the attacks. Merah, 23, "had a failure inside of him, a suffering of the abandoned child," the lawyer says. Those feelings resurfaced when Merah's wife left him less than a week before the first attack, says the lawyer, who believes his client was a "lone wolf" with no connection to al-Qaeda. The BBC reports that Algeria has refused to accept Merah's body for burial due to security concerns; he will be buried in France instead.

My Take on This Story