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      Father of Toulouse Terrorist Sues French Police

      The father of Toulouse terrorist Mohammed Merah has hired an Algerian attorney to sue French police for killing his son.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 3/29/2012, 9:27 AM

      French Police at Toulouse siege
      French Police at Toulouse siege
      Reuters

      The father of Toulouse terrorist Mohammed Merah has hired an Algerian attorney to sue French police for killing his son.

      Mohammed Benalal Merah has asked attorney Zahia Mokhtari to file charges against police for shooting the younger Merah dead in a standoff last week, AFP reported.

      “Mr. Merah thinks that his son was murdered,” explained Mokhtari. “He has asked us to file a complaint against the French security services. We will begin the procedure once the burial is complete.”

      The announcement came as the family awaited the arrival of Merah's body, due Thursday in Algeria following its ritual washing in France under Muslim custom.

      The family is hoping to complete the burial in the Medea region, in southern Algiers, but had not yet received final authorization from government authorities Thursday morning. The terrorist's brother is currently being held by police, under suspicion for being an accessory to the murders.

      Merah, who French President Nicolas Sarkozy has labeled a “fanatic and a monster,” murdered a rabbi and three young Jewish children, as well as three French Muslim paratroopers in three attacks in Toulouse and Montauban.

      The murder spree ended with a siege around the terrorist's home that lasted 32 hours as experienced negotiators tried to persuade Merah to surrender himself into custody.  Instead, the standoff finally ended March 22 with his death. Police were greeted by a hail of gunfire as they cautiously entered the apartment – and Merah jumping out the window. He was killed when police returned fire.

      During the long hours of the siege in which negotiators and French media spoke with the terrorist, he boasted that he had brought France “to its knees.” He expressed no remorse, other than regret that he had not had time to carry out more killings. 

      “If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame,” commented French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in response to the intended lawsuit.

      Later in the day, Merah's father was more subdued, commenting in an interview with France 24, “If [my son] has really committed these crimes and killed innocent people, he was wrong. If it was really him. If he was pushed to commit these acts by other people, it was wrong. He was blinded.”