Gunman in French terror attacks buried
Abdelkader Merah told investigators that a third man helped the Merah brothers steal a motorbike used later in the killings, two police officials said Thursday. Abdelkader Merah did not give the name of the other man.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named.
The shootings were the worst terrorist attacks in France since the 1990s and have revived concerns about home-grown Islamist radicals carrying out violence. Mohamed Merah traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and said he received weapons training there.
French Muslims have worried about a backlash after Merah’s attacks, and French leaders have urged the public not to equate Islam with terrorism.
But concerns about radical Islam are high, and the government on Thursday banned a string of international Muslim clerics from entering France for a conference of a fundamentalist Islamic group.
Also Thursday, a former nuclear physicist went on trial in Paris on accusations of plotting attacks with the North African wing of al Qaeda. But his defenders say he only sent some angry emails and fear he may be unfairly linked with the Merah case.
In a separate, apparently unconnected development, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism chief said a French militant is the chief suspect in last week’s blast at the Indonesian Embassy in Paris.
The suspect is Frederic C. Jean Salvi, who allegedly spent several years studying with Islamic militants in Indonesia, anti-terrorism agency chief Ansyaad Mbai told the Associated Press in Jakarta.
The package bomb that exploded March 21 did not cause any injuries or major damage.
Thomas Adamson in Paris and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta contributed to this report.