French Police Capture Al Qaeda Inspired Hostage Taker in Toulouse
A man claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda took 4 people hostage at a bank in the French city of Toulouse on Wednesday and was arrested by police, with all 4 hostages surviving unharmed.
According to Prosecutor Michel Valet, the man said he was “acting not for money but for his religious convictions.”
French officials have stated they believe the suspect attempted to rob the bank but when a teller refused to hand over money, it turned into a hostage situation.
“It is an armed robbery that turned into a hostage situation,” said Cedric Delage of France’s USNA police union.
Toulouse was the scene of bloody, Al Qaeda linked murders earlier this year, including an assault on a Jewish school that killed 3 children and a rabbi. The killer, Mohammed Merah, who an Al Qaeda official referred to as a “role model” following the incident in March, was killed by French authorities during a standoff at his apartment.
On Wednesday, the hostage taker demanded the presence of France’s elite RAID police unit at the scene according to numerous media reports inside France.
“I’m worried about the climate that reigns in this city,” a local resident told the Associated Press.