Two Arrested in Connection with Toulouse Terror Attack
French police have arrested two men in connection with last year's Toulouse terror attack by Mohamed Merah, whose shooting spree at a Jewish school left seven people dead, the AFP news agency reports.
A source close to the investigation said the two men, aged 28 and 30, were arrested on Tuesday in Toulouse and brought to Paris for questioning. Under French anti-terrorism laws, they can be held for up to four days without charge.
A judicial source said the men were acquaintances of Merah and had been placed under surveillance during the weekend.
French police are investigating whether Merah had any accomplices in carrying out his attacks last March, with officials saying they doubt he acted alone.
A self-described Al-Qaeda sympathiser, Merah murdered a rabbi, three Jewish schoolchildren and three French paratroopers before being shot dead in a police siege in Toulouse.
In early December, a 38-year-old man and his girlfriend were arrested in connection with the attacks but both were later released without charge.
Merah's brother Abdelkader has been charged as an accomplice and remains in custody.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls was to meet Wednesday with the families of Merah's victims, after the minister said the gunman had not acted as a "lone
"He killed alone, but he had gone to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, he had contacts, he no doubt was given rudimentary weapons training, he lived in an environment," Valls said in Brussels.
"Merah was alone, but he was not isolated.... There was an environment, which could be that of his family, his neighborhood, prison," he said, adding that France was preparing to deport a string of radical Islamic preachers in the coming days.
On March 19th, 2012, Merah pulled up to the Jewish school Otzar Hatorah on a scooter and opened fire on parents and students outside of the school, killing four. The first victim was Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, a French-Israeli teacher at the school, who was shot to death outside the school gates while trying to shield his two young sons, Aryeh, 6 and Gavriel 3, who were also murdered. The fourth victim was eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego, the daughter of the school's principal.