Violent end to French standoff with Muslim murderer
I would say that the French police bent over backwards to give this guy a chance at life. He has apparently chosen otherwise.
A 23-year-old Frenchman who claimed responsibility for killing four men and three children died on Thursday after jumping from a window, still firing from a weapon in his hand, as security forces stormed the apartment where had been holed up for more than 30 hours, Claude Guéant, the French interior minister said.
At noon, officers entered the apartment through a front door and windows that had been blasted out, Mr. Guéant said. Inside the apartment, the suspect, identified as Mohammed Merah, emerged from a bathroom "firing with extreme violence," Mr. Guéant said.
"At the end, Mohammed Merah jumped out a window with a weapon in his hand, still firing," he said. "He was found dead on the ground."
More than 300 rounds were discharged in the firefight, reports indicated, and Mr. Guéant said two officers were lightly wounded.
French government ministers had said that they hoped to take him alive.
Mr. Guéant said the police entered the apartment and slowly searched each room using video equipment and fearful of a possible trap. Not finding Mr. Merah in any of the other rooms, they came to the bathroom last, he said, and it was then that Mr. Merah emerged and began firing.
A former garage mechanic of Algerian descent, Mr. Merah made two trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years, and said that he had been trained by Al Qaeda. Though Mr. Merah had initially indicated to negotiators that he hoped to live, Mr. Guéant told French radio earlier on Thursday he had indicated he wished "to die with weapons in his hands."
You have to wonder how many time bombs like Merah are in Europe and elsewhere, just waiting to go off.
The murders of the Jewish children and their father has shocked France and roiled the presidential election. Michel Gurfinkiel writing at PJ Media:
One month ahead of the presidential election, the French political class wanted to both draw on the emotional impact of the killings and avoid gaffes or politically incorrect statements. All presidential candidates expressed their shock and anger about the deliberate killing of Jewish children. Most attended Jewish services in Paris and Toulouse. President Sarkozy suspended his campaign for three days and his rivals did the same. On the other hand, Sarkozy warned against "amalgamating" the "peaceful and law abiding Muslim community" with jihadists and other radicals, or "calling for retribution." Many other candidates, or national leaders, said the same.
Such attitudes displease French Jews. For one thing, they know that if all Muslims are not jihadists, jihadism and other extremist movements still spread among French Muslims, especially the younger, French-born, generation. Conversely, they believe that their own global image and condition have steadily deteriorated for years and that this explains at least in part the torturing and killing of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and the Toulouse massacre today.
Will France learn anything from this tragic affair? From what we've seen so far, apparently not.