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March 27, 2012 7:40 am

French Police Investigate Toulouse Killer’s Brother

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bdelkader Merah, the brother of the shooter responsible for the deaths of three schoolchildren and a rabbi, has been handed terrorism and murder charges for allegedly assisting his brother. Photo: EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

Abdelkader Merah, brother of Mohammed Merah, who killed three school children and a rabbi at a Jewish school last week, has been handed preliminary terrorism and murder charges. While investigators looking in to last week’s attacks believe Merah helped his brother prepare and plan for them, he denies any role, and according to his lawyer, feels “like a scapegoat,” the Associated Press reported.

“No one knew anything” about what Mohamed was plotting, lawyer Anne-Sophie Laguens told reporters in Paris on Sunday. She also said that Abdelkader did not approve of his brother’s attacks, commenting, “He was never proud of those actions.”

Bernard Squarcini, head of the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, also concluded on Saturday that the attacks had been improvised. Merah had been planning to kill another soldier (he had killed three soldiers prior to the attack on the Jewish school), but arrived late and changed his target.

Investigators are also trying to determine whether Merah acted alone or as part of a network. “Police inquiries have produced grave and matching pointers that suggest his participation as accomplice in crimes relating to a terrorist enterprise is plausible,” the Paris public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

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