Source: Killer didn’t send French attacks video
The footage appeared to have been taken from the point of view of the killer, perhaps from a camera hung around his neck, according Tarrouche, who described the video to BFM television station. He said they were a bit shaky but of a high technical quality.
“You can hear gunshots at the moment of the killings. You can hear the voice of this person who has committed these assassinations. You can hear also the cries of the victims, and the voices were distorted,” Tarrouche said.
The footage was contained on a USB key sent with a letter to the Paris office of the Qatar-based television company, Tarrouche said. The letter, written in poor French with spelling and grammar errors, claimed the shootings were carried out in the name of al-Qaida. The second official said it was hand written in all capital letters.
The channel said the video was received from an anonymous source on Monday and immediately passed it on to French police.
“In accordance with Al Jazeera’s Code of Ethics, given the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Al-Jazeera said it had received many requests by media to look at the video but it would deny all of them.
That decision came after Sarkozy, other French officials and family members of the victims had asked that it not be broadcast.
Tarrouche said the Paris prosecutor, whose office is leading the investigation, had also called to explain the consequences of disseminating the images. But Tarrouche said the prosecutor said he would not prohibit the channel from “doing its work as journalists.”
Al-Jazeera was frequently used early in the Iraq and Afghan wars as a conduit for militants, including Osama bin Laden, to distribute taped statements. As the Iraq war progressed, many of these tapes included gruesome killings and beheadings of Western or foreign hostages, although the station edited out some of the grisliest scenes at the moment of death.
The broadcasts drew outrage, especially from the U.S. government. Over time, most militant groups opted instead for posting such videos on their own websites, where they were not subject to outside editing.
“Why did they kill him? … They could have used gas, for example to take him like a baby,” Mohamed Benalel Merah asked in an interview aired Tuesday by France 24 TV. The father said his son should have been taken alive and judged.
Sarkozy, in the middle of a tough re-election campaign, has announced a raft of new measures aimed at preventing the spread and incubation of radical ideas, including penalizing those who regularly consult websites that promote jihad.
On Tuesday, he said wanted to speed up the process of expelling radicals from France as well as prevent them from ever entering.
“Extremists are playing with our administrative formalities. Our job is to be more efficient,” he said. “Preachers who continually target our system can stay where they are. We don’t want them on the soil of the French Republic.”