Gunman Kills 4 at a Jewish School in France

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Gunman Kills 4 at a Jewish School in France

By SCOTT SAYARE and STEVEN ERLANGER
Published: March 19, 2012

TOULOUSE, France — A man opened fire outside a Jewish school in southwest France on Monday morning, killing four people, three of them children, and wounding another, officials said. It was the third killing of unarmed people in the region in little over a week, and the police said the same gun was used in all three attacks.

Witnesses said that a man fled the scene in Toulouse on a motorbike. Last week, a man on a motorbike killed three French paratroopers and critically wounded another in two separate shootings, police officials said. The soldiers were all Arab or black, but were paratroopers from a unit that fought in Afghanistan.

There has been no claim of responsibility for any of the murders, which the French police are treating as acts of terrorism.

Michel Valet, the local prosecutor, said a rabbi, his two children and another child were killed in the attack and a 17-year-old boy was seriously wounded. The killer “shot at everything he could see, children and adults, and some children were chased into the school,” Mr. Valet said.

The attack is the worst on Jews in France since 1982, when the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant in Paris was bombed at lunchtime, killing six people and wounding 22. In 1980, a terrorist group threw a bomb at a Jewish synagogue on Rue Copernic in Paris, killing four people and wounding about 40.

Monday’s shooting brought a climate of fear to the region, with the French state ordering increased surveillance of all religious schools. It also brought immediate condemnations from President Nicolas Sarkozy and from his main rival for the presidency, François Hollande, both of whom broke off their political campaigns to rush to the scene.

Uniformed police officers were seen leading away stunned survivors after the early morning attack. Other officers set up barricades and sealed off the entrance to the school, located behind high white walls with security cameras at the entrance.

Mr. Sarkozy arrived in Toulouse late Monday morning with officials and Jewish leaders. He called the shooting a “national tragedy” and ordered a minute’s silence to be observed across France on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

The Israeli press identified Monday’s victims as Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and two of his sons, Arye, 6, and Gabriel, 3. The fourth person killed was Miriam Monsonego, 8, who is the daughter of the school principal, Yaacov Monsonego. Rabbi Sandler came to Toulouse from Jerusalem with his family last September to teach religious studies at the school. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the rabbi was a French citizen but that his wife was Israeli and that their children had dual nationality.

Another student, 17, a boy, was said to be wounded and in critical condition at a local hospital.

The French minister of the interior, Claude Guéant, said he was “submerged with emotion” over this “act of anti-Semitism” and ordered the police to intensify security around Jewish schools, according to a press spokesman. France has some 300 Jewish schools, news reports said.

Later, Prime Minister François Fillon was quoted as saying the enhanced security measures would be broadened to include all schools and religious buildings.

The Interior Ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, said the shootings occurred outside the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah. According to the police, the gunman initially used a 9-mm weapon, but it jammed, so he switched to a .45-caliber gun as he went into the school. The .45-caliber weapon was the one the police said was used to shoot the paratroopers last week.

Ozar Hatorah is a Jewish society promoting religious education among young people, especially in the Middle East, northern Africa and among the Sephardic Jewish community in France, which has the largest number of Jews in Europe, estimated to be at least 550,000. A promotional video posted in 2010 showed students engaged in academic and religious studies.

The authorities have been hunting for the gunman who killed the soldiers since last week, and the military has told soldiers not to wear their uniforms in public.

The wave of killings has stunned France, prompting tense speculation about its cause. Even before the shooting on Monday, there was discussion about a possible racial or ethnic component to the attacks.

“There is a common point to all the victims of this dark series of cold-blooded murders: they are all related to communities,” including both Muslims and Jews, wrote Pierre Haski in a posting Monday on the Rue89 news Web site. “Whether they wore the uniform of the French Army or were children, their ‘difference’ made them targets.”

Speculation over the motives for the killings ranged from anger at Muslims fighting in Afghanistan and anti-Semitism to a hatred of immigrants.

Condemnation of the killings was general. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel condemned the “despicable murder of Jews, including small children,” as “a savage crime.” Speaking to his Likud party, he said: “It is too early to determine exactly what the background to the murderous act was, but we certainly cannot rule out the option that it was motivated by violent and murderous anti-Semitism.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/europe/gunman-kills-3-at-a-jewish-school-in-france.html
Surprised the savages in this country don't try this kind of shit more often...
 

Neon

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I saw a report saying that the gun used in this was also used in some anti-Muslim crime in the same area, but I don't know if it's legit or just one of those "don't rush to conclusions" type of things.


And partycock - regarding your original statement - they do plenty of shit, but most of them are cowards and stick to night time vandalism, or your garden variety random beatings. That stuff just isn't international news.

EDIT: OK, that report says that two of the other murder victims from this same gun were Muslim soldiers. The language implied that there more more than just those two victims, though.
 

KRSOne

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The influx of these mud people into these western European countries is truly revolting.
Don't be so quick to judge. I bet it was a 7 year old in a wheel chair. Thank god we have the TSA in America to protect us from those violent crippled children.
 

Hoffman

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Don't be so quick to judge. I bet it was a 7 year old in a wheel chair. Thank god we have the TSA in America to protect us from those violent crippled children.
 

Neon

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Don't be so quick to judge. I bet it was a 7 year old in a wheel chair. Thank god we have the TSA in America to protect us from those violent crippled children.
Meeeeee!!!!! MEEE!!!!!! MEEEE!!!!!!!!
 

SOS

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Probably a xenophobe.
 

Party Rooster

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And partycock - regarding your original statement - they do plenty of shit, but most of them are cowards and stick to night time vandalism, or your garden variety random beatings. That stuff just isn't international news.
I was talking about the Muslims. Not rednecks firebombing mosques and beating up towel-heads. :icon_cool
 

Neon

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I was talking about the Muslims. Not rednecks firebombing mosques and beating up towel-heads. :icon_cool
Wakka wakka.


Looks like it was neo-Nazis, by the way. And props to Catherine Ashton, EU spokeswoman, who thought it was worth mentioning that Israel kills Palestinian children in Gaza while discussing this case. Stay classy, Europe.
 

Neon

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This is a big story in Israel, and there's breaking news there now: The Neo-Nazi ex-soldiers who were the prime suspects in this case have been found and cleared of suspicion. The plot thickens...
 

Party Rooster

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This is a big story in Israel, and there's breaking news there now: The Neo-Nazi ex-soldiers who were the prime suspects in this case have been found and cleared of suspicion. The plot thickens...
So am I racist for not buying that and automatically thinking it's muzzies?
 
Dec 8, 2004
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***Follow Up***

French police press to hunt down school killer

TOULOUSE, France (AP) - Police blanketed southern France on Tuesday, searching for a gunman - possibly a racist, anti-Semitic serial killer - who shot dead four people at a Jewish school and may have filmed his attack.

The manhunt took place as friends and family tearfully mourned those slain at close range in the city of Toulouse - a rabbi, his two young sons and a young girl.

Authorities suspect the killer at the Jewish school was also behind two recent attacks in the same area on French paratroopers that left three dead and one seriously wounded. The soldiers were of North African and French Caribbean backgrounds.

A "monster" is on the loose in France, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared, vowing to track him down.

"There are beings who have no respect for life. When you grab a little girl to put a bullet in her head, without leaving her any chance, you are a monster. An anti-Semitic monster, but first of all a monster," he said.

Focus fell Tuesday on a group of three paratroopers who had been expelled from their regiment near Toulouse in 2008 for neo-Nazi sympathies, a police official said. The killer on Monday handled large-caliber guns with expertise, leading some to suspect he had a military or police background.

France was reeling Tuesday after Monday's shooting, the deadliest school shooting in the country and the bloodiest attack on Jewish targets in decades. Schools across the country held a moment of silence Tuesday to honor the victims, who were heading to Israel for burial.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant described the suspect as "someone very cold, very determined, very much a master of his movements, and by consequence, very cruel."

Gueant said the attacker was wearing a camera around his neck that could be used to film and post video online. He said that gave investigators new clues to the killer's "profile," although he admitted they don't appear to close to an arrest.

He mentioned the three paratroopers who had been kicked out but insisted it was just one of many leads being investigated and "not favored any more than the others."

Norway's Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a rampage last year, had suggested in an online manifesto before the killings that a camera could be used to film such ethnic-cleansing "operations." There was no mention in his indictment that he used one.

In Monday's shooting, the attacker first gunned down a rabbi and his two young sons, then chased down the daughter of the school principal, shooting her dead at point-blank range. Reports of the children's ages varied, with the Israeli Embassy saying Tuesday the boys were 3 and 5 and the girl was 8.

Police are investigating the possibility that the killer is a former soldier with psychological troubles and racist and anti-Semitic views. One soldier was briefly held then released over the weekend, after the paratrooper killings but before the school shooting, the police official said. The official was not authorized to speak while the investigation is ongoing.

At the site of the second paratrooper killing, police found the charger for the gun used in all three attacks, but found no fingerprints or DNA on it, the official said.

Police are studying the online communications by the first paratrooper killed. He was shot March 11 after posting an announcement online to sell his motorcycle, the police official said, and investigators believe the gunman responded to the ad and lured the paratrooper into an isolated place March 10 to kill him.

Behavioral analysts are helping with the investigation, the police official said, and comparing the actions of the suspected perpetrator to those of serial killers and to those such as Norway's Breivik.

Wails and weeping filled the air Tuesday as the school honored the victims, including the rabbi who taught there. Several young men pressed their heads against the rear window a hearse in grief as it drove away.

The rabbi's widow covered her face and held her remaining child, a 1-year-old daughter, dressed in a bright pink dress. The widow's uncle, Marc Alloul, described how the girl woke up in the middle of the night after the killings, calling out, "Papa! Papa!"

Sarkozy, who has played up nationalist themes in his bid for a second term in upcoming elections, sought to stress the overall horror of the crime.

"The children are exactly like you," Sarkozy told junior high school students in Paris after joining them for the moment of silence. "That could have happened here."

He spoke at a public school across the street from a memorial to the French people who helped Jews during the Holocaust, when most of France was occupied by the Nazis.

Sarkozy also talked about the paratroopers killed in two attacks in Toulouse and nearby Montauban. The killer in those attacks also came and went on a motorbike and shot from the same weapon as the one used in Monday's school killing.

"Is it because they had come back from Afghanistan? Is it because they came from visible minorities? We don't know," Sarkozy asked about the paratroopers who were killed.

The French Defense Ministry has said the paratroopers didn't serve in Afghanistan, but one family says their son did. Other families have refused to comment on the topic.

France is holding a two-pronged presidential election on April 22, with a runoff expected May 6, in which issues about religious minorities and race have gained prominence. Sarkozy, a conservative, is known for his hard line against increased immigration.

Sarkozy also met Tuesday with members of France's Jewish and Muslim community. France has western Europe's largest population of both Jews - about half a million - and Muslims - about 5 million.

The terror threat level was raised to scarlet across a swath of southern France - the highest level since the four-point system was created in 2003.

In Toulouse, France's bustling fourth city, streets were emptier than normal. In one main square, Place Wilson, a dozen police officers were on patrol, some guarding the subway entrance.

In Paris, police bearing automatic weapons stood in front of Jewish schools.

"It's impossible not to imagine the worst, because it can happen to any child in France," said Mendy Sarfati, a father dropping his three children off at a Jewish school in Paris. "We want to put this drama behind us and for the French Republic to draw lessons from it."
Link
 

Neon

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Breaking now: Arrest underway. Shots fired. Two French RAID police injured. 24 year-old Al-Qaeda suspect barricaded. In the past he had made trips to the Af-Pak region. That's all I got now.

Shocker.
 

Party Rooster

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More details:

Muslims arrested for killing 3 children in Jewish school in France

Two French police officers were injured in a shoot-out during a raid on a house in Toulouse to arrest suspects in the killings of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in southwest France.

The source said the raid began at 3am local time (2am GMT) and was ongoing, but did not provide further details. French news channel BFM TV said the suspects were linked to an Islamist group which it identified as Forsane Alizza but it was not immediately possible to confirm this.

Earlier it was revealed the serial killer who carried out the massacre in a move possibly inspired by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

After police last night warned he could strike again, chilling details of the rampage emerged. All the victims – Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his two young sons, three-year-old Gavriel and six-year-old Aryeh, and headmaster’s daughter Miriam Monsonego, eight – were shot in the head at such close range that the gunfire burned the surrounding skin. Last week the same attacker is believed to have shot three soldiers, all of North African or Caribbean origin, in the same area in two separate attacks. He carried the same weapons and rode a black scooter to and from the attack at 8am on Monday. There has been a four-day gap between each of his three attacks – leading to suspicions there will be a fourth on Friday, which is not only the start of the Jewish Sabbath but is also a Muslim day of prayer.

Hundreds of anti-terror police officers yesterday flooded Toulouse, with south-west France in virtual lockdown. ‘We are up against an extremely determined individual, who knows he’s being hunted, who could strike again,’ Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.Surveillance tapes at the school showed that the gunman –believed to be a trained marksman with far-Right views –recorded his shooting spree with a small video camera around his neck. ‘This shows a profile of the murderer as someone who is very cold, very determined, with precise gestures, and therefore very cruel,’ said Claude Gueant, the French interior minister. Breivik, who last July went on a shooting spree in Norway that killed 77 people, mostly children, advised anyone wanting to carry out a copycat ‘operation’ to film it using such a camera.

http://www.yourjewishnews.com/Pages/17533.aspx
 

KRSOne

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I was betting it was Tea Party people or someone that doesn't like Obamacare.
 

Jon the Cop

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But wait? I thought France was sooooooooooooo much more sophisticated than us dumb yanks? I thought they solved the violence problem by banning guns???
 
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More Info

Police hunting a gunman suspected of killing seven people in southern France are laying siege to a flat in Toulouse.

The man, named as Mohammed Merah, 23, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, has said he belongs to al-Qaeda and acted to "avenge Palestinian children".

Police are negotiating with the man, who is still said to be armed but says he may give himself up this afternoon.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the man had been tracked by French intelligence for "several years".

The brother of the suspect has been arrested in another part of Toulouse, with several other relatives also reported detained.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made a televised address, paying tribute to the security forces who are carrying out the operation and saying that terrorism "will never be able to fracture our national community".
Scooter clues

Mr Gueant, who is at the siege scene, says the suspect has a Kalashnikov, a mini-Uzi 9mm machine pistol and several handguns. He earlier threw one gun, a Colt 45, from a window in exchange for a phone. A .45 calibre pistol was used at all three murder scenes. More weapons were found in a car near the flat.

Mr Gueant said the suspect had no particular demands and that, after initially talking to the authorities, Merah broke off discussions. Negotiations have now resumed, Agence France-Presse reports.

Surrounding buildings have been evacuated.
Link

Oh and live news feed here...
 

Neon

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Asshole is in custody now. Shame. I wanted him to take one between the eyes.


EDIT: Now they are saying he is still in the apartment. WTF...
 

Neon

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Well at least this way the leftist media will get to support his cause
He said he was doing it because of Palestinian children. Even the Palestinian Prime Minister was like: Jesus, can you stop using us as your excuse, please? I had a good chuckle at that.