French special police after assaulting the apartment of Mohammed
a self-styled al-Qaeda
militant. Before the 32-hour stand-off that ended
with his own death, Merah had killed six people, including Jewish citizens
and French paratroopers.
Five others were seriously injured.
Toulouse and the ‘Currency of Hate’
Atta, the pilot of the first aircraft to strike the World Trade Center in 2001,
Merah led his life blending into the crowd. … How do
we identify, isolate and monitor potential terrorists? … We must intervene early,
far more upstream, before the mind becomes unhinged. This is especially true at
a time when young people can connect with anything, including rage that tips into
hatred and ends in bloodshed.”
Mohamed Merah: The 23-year-old Frenchman and closet al-Qaeda sympathizer went on a rampage, killing people at a Jewish school and French security forces that responded. Like the Americans, Brits and Norwegians before them, the French are now asking what they could have done to prevent the tragedy.
I hate it! It is a common term. One hears it on the bus, at
the office coffee machine, and even at home with family. In general it doesn’t
mean much: a moment of anger. “I hate it, I’m ticked off,” often over a
But when it becomes a state of mind, a distortion of
thought, hate is poison. "It feeds off the smallest of things," Balzac remarked. Corrosive, it
destroys everything, submerges everything, including the person who is filled
with it. It is to be sprinkled with one’s own medicine, in tragic fashion.
Until February, Mohamed Merah was a delinquent. Then he slipped into a life of crime
because he no longer believed anything but his own delusions.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
One of his statements was very explicit. He made the
videotape before pulling the trigger on paratrooper Ibn Ziaten. "You
killed my brothers, so I will kill you." Nothing could be simpler. It is
the symmetry of vendetta assuming grand political airs. Had he received two
months of treatment with psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists, none
of this would have occurred. Such is the limit of our mighty judicial exorcism
- from which we expect more than can be delivered.
Which brings us back to the central question: how to
identify, isolate and monitor potential terrorists? As soon as one finds a reliable
method, cracks appear. Mohamed Merah was spotted in
2010, after returning from Afghanistan. Should we therefore, ipso facto, have shipped
him out permanently?
Atta, the pilot of the first aircraft to strike the World Trade Center in
2001, Merah led his life blending into the crowd.
Merah apparently conceived of his massacre alone; Atta built a sophisticated
network without the knowledge of the CIA. And both succeeded in their attacks.
We must therefore intervene early, far more upstream, before
the mind becomes unhinged. This is especially true at a time when young people
can connect with anything, including rage that tips into hatred and ends in
bloodshed. This presupposes two simultaneous approaches: one that facilitates social
and psychological integration; and the other that bolts the door to these kinds
of political or religious indoctrination.
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