Mohamed Merah, the perpetrator of a murderous shooting spree outside a Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this year, had an Israeli contact with whom he spoke on the phone during the year prior to the attack, the French daily Le Monde reported on Thursday, based on confidential documents obtained by the paper.
According to the report, Merah, fearing police surveillance, avoided making any calls from his own phone. However, he held copious phone correspondences using the cellular phone registered to his mother, 55-year-old Zoulika Aziri. Between September 1, 2010, and February 20, 2011, Merah had 186 correspondents with phone numbers located outside France, in 20 different countries — including Israel.
The complete call list, including details regarding Merah’s Israeli contact, has not been released by France’s Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence (DCRI).
The released notes indicate DCRI agents had Merah under surveillance since March 2011, after his return from a lengthy sojourn in Afghanistan. He had been tracked by the security services since 2009.
In 2010 Merah visited Israel, where police questioned him over a knife found in his possession.