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Switch to Forum Live View Murders in Toulouse........SERIAL Murders.
6 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 5:06PM #1
Posts: 18,418

Paris (CNN) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday night "reinforced" that the southwestern region of Toulouse will be on the highest possible security alert level, hours after a teacher and three children were gunned down at a Jewish school there.

The incident at the Ozar Hatorah school marked the third time in the past 10 days that a gunman on a motorcycle has fired on minorities in the southwest of France.

On Monday, the teacher was shot dead with his two children, while the school's director saw his daughter shot and killed in front of him, Sarkozy said in a somber speech at the school.

The president then returned to Paris and addressed the violence again in an evening speech from the Elysee Palace.

French troops were present on streets, at train stations and at other highly trafficked locales in parts of southwestern France before Monday's shooting, as that region had been on a high alert level for years.

Sarkozy made a point in his Monday night speech to note that France's security measures for the area will remain high. He also said that he'll suspend his re-election campaign until at least Wednesday.

One of the guns used Monday was also used in killings of French soldiers of north African origin who were shot and killed on March 11 and March 15, said Elisabeth Allannic, a spokeswoman for judicial authorities in Paris. A court in Paris on Monday opened an investigation into all three killings, under anti-terrorism powers.

The gunman pulled up in front of the Jewish school just before 8 a.m. and started shooting, authorities said.

The dead included a 3-year-old child, and a 17-year-old was wounded, according to local prosecutor Michael Valet.

Shooting leaves Toulouse natives nervous

Sarzoky visits Toulouse shooting site

Casualties in French school shooting

The gunman got close enough to his victims to shoot them in the head, local journalist Gil Bousquet said.

In the shooting's aftermath, families hugged and wept in front of police cars around the school.

Ambulances and police vans lined the narrow streets of the city, and a helicopter circled overhead as police on foot made their way through the small crowd of shocked locals to get to the building.

Speaking from the school, Sarkozy declared that "everything must be done so the killer is arrested."

"And of course our thoughts are with these families that are shattered -- a mother who has lost her husband and her two children the same day; the director of the school saw his little girl die before his eyes," Sarkozy said.

The gunman wore a motorcycle helmet and fled on a motor scooter after the shootings, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said -- the same method used in the earlier soldiers' shootings.

"It's a horrible tragedy," he said of Monday's shootings.

The Interior Ministry has ordered police across the country to contact Jewish organizations to arrange increased vigilance, Brandet said.

France, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, had 389 reported acts of anti-Semitism in 2011, according to Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, known by the French acronym CRIF.

Its head, Richard Prasquier, and Minister of Education Luc Chatel accompanied Sarkozy to Toulouse.

Monday's shooting brought immediate reaction from the Jewish world.

"Today, Jews everywhere in the world are weeping in sorrow and disgust in the face of this despicable terrorist attack," said Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress. "Targeting children is a particularly sick and vile act, and nothing can justify it."

In the United States, an official with the Department of Homeland Security said U.S. authorities are monitoring the situation in France along with European authorities, as well as looking at the prospect of attacks targeting Jews domestically.

"Currently, we are aware of no specific threat to locations within the United States whatsoever," said the U.S. official, who asked not to be named. "As always, we encourage the general public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement."

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "savage crime" and said anti-Semitism could not be ruled out as a motive.

"We follow with shock the news coming from France, and we trust the French authorities to shed full light on this crime and to bring those responsible to justice," said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry.

The British government also expressed its "deep and sincere sympathy" over the attack, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

"This act of calculated cruelty will unite all decent people in revulsion and condemnation," he said. "There is no excuse for such acts of appalling violence."

Gilles Bernheim, the chief rabbi of France, said he was "horrified" and "upset."

French presidential candidate Francois Hollande said he felt "horror" over the killing.

Jewish communities around the world are stepping up security in response to the shootings, the Jewish Federations of North America said.

In Washington, Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said authorities there "have directed that additional attention be provided to schools and religious institutions" in the wake of Monday's attack in France.

New York police, meanwhile, increased security coverage at Jewish neighborhoods and institutions, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.

While there were no known specific threats against the city, Browne said patrol units will pay special attention to synagogues, and NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau will assign critical response vehicles to institutions and neighborhoods.

"Just because there's something that happens there, doesn't mean there are more threats here. But we take everything very seriously," said Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Toulouse police Capt. David Delattre said that in the March 11 incident, a soldier was on his motorbike when a helmeted man on another motorcycle shot and killed him.

The soldier was not in uniform, and his motorbike did not have any military identification, Delattre said.

On Thursday, two other soldiers were shot dead and another injured by a black-clad man wearing a motorcycle helmet in the southwestern French city of Montauban, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Toulouse.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 5:23PM #2
Posts: 8,301

A terrible happening, not unlike the recent amok run of the US soldier in Afghanistan.

They say in news reports officials suspect that it may be a member of the killed soldiers' unit who is the murderer here. It would not be the first traumatised soldier flipping out. But who knows, It could just as well be quite premeditated.

Considering that I've been to Toulouse visiting good colleagues, almost friends, just before Christmas, this gets quite close.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 5:29PM #3
Posts: 18,418

I am wondering if the perp when found will prove to be some right-wing individual, a French Tim McVeigh? 

I hope they find it before it hurts anyone else. 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2012 - 3:58AM #4
Posts: 8,301

Mar 19, 2012 -- 5:29PM, LeahOne wrote:

I am wondering if the perp when found will prove to be some right-wing individual, a French Tim McVeigh? 

That would be my guess, at least. Considering that he(?) targeted Muslims and Jews.

The whole thing seems much more premeditated than a mere PTSD amok run.

Le Point reported that the local parachutist brigade (does one say 'paratroopers'?) stationed at Montauban fired three of its members in 2008 because of Nazi behaviour. Of course, there are speculations that at least one of these is responsible for the current murder series.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2012 - 2:55PM #5
Posts: 19,045

Reports so far is that the shooter was not right wing French. We will see.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2012 - 5:15PM #6
Posts: 19,045


France clears three neo-Nazi suspects in Jewish school shooting

Police now looking into whether killer was Islamic extremist

full article:

Still no definitive answer.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2012 - 10:00PM #7
Posts: 10,168

The French are damned if they do and the French are damned if they don't.....


For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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