Merah visited Israel in 2010, Shin Bet confirms

Merah visited Israel in 2010, Shin Bet confirms

The Toulouse terrorist entered through Jordan, stayed for three days, then went to Afghanistan

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Toulouse terrorist Mohamed Merah (AP/France 2)
Toulouse terrorist Mohamed Merah (AP/France 2)

Mohamed Merah, the Toulouse shooter killed last week in a gunfight with French police, entered Israel with a French passport in 2010, the Shin Bet confirmed on Monday.

The terrorist, who admitted to killing three children, a teacher, and three soldiers in France, crossed into Israel from Jordan via the Allenby Bridge on a tourist visa in September 2010 and stayed in Israel for three days.

Because of his background, and because he was traveling alone, security agencies interrogated him, but released him, having no information to suggest he was a threat.

Contrary to French intelligence reports, Merah was not in possession of a knife, nor could Israeli security sources confirm that he was stopped by police in Jerusalem with one.

The French newspaper Le Monde reported last week that a senior American official in Afghanistan found Israeli entry and exit stamps in Merah’s passport during a recent stay in Kandahar.

Until Monday, the Shin Bet, which was investigating the rumor, could not confirm the veracity of Le Monde’s claims.

Interior Ministry officials last week denied that Merah entered Israel, and asserted that if indeed he did, he must have used a false passport.

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