The perpetrator of a murderous shooting spree outside a Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this year told police he came across the building “by chance,” before killing three children and a teacher there, according to audio aired Sunday of negotiations between the killer and French police in March.
Mohamed Merah was killed by police after a tense 32-hour standoff outside his apartment in the southern French city of Toulouse. Merah was accused of carrying out a number of deadly shootings, including outside the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in the city.
On Sunday, French State TV aired audio from four and a half hours of conversations between Merah and police negotiators. Through it all, the terrorist comes across as cold and without remorse.
“Know that in front of you there is a man who is not afraid of death,” he says at one point. “My death, I love you like others love life.”
He also told negotiators he wanted to carry out more attacks on sites he happened upon, as he did the Jewish school.
“I would leave everything to chance and proceed without any preparation,” he said.
After his first two attacks on March 11 and March 15 left three French uniformed soldiers dead, Mohamed Merah shot and killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two young sons Gavriel and Aryeh, and another young girl, Miriam Monsonego, outside the Ozar Hatorah school on March 19.
Merah said his “goal in these attacks was to kill soldiers engaged in Afghanistan, and all manner of their allies, be it the police, gendarmerie, everything.”
However, having missed a missed another soldier, he said he ended up targeting the Ozar Hatorah school.
“I took the scooter and I went just like that, it was not premeditated,” he said. “At the end of the day it was my intention, but the morning when I woke up it was not my objective.”
French authorities said the terrorist had been to Afghanistan and the Pakistani militant stronghold of Waziristan in 2007, where he claimed to have received training from al-Qaeda. He was later imprisoned by Afghan troops in Kandahar.