‘France paid thousands for Merah film detailing links with spy service’
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‘France paid thousands for Merah film detailing links with spy service’

Father of one of Toulouse killer's victims says footage shows self-styled jihadist explaining links with DGSE during final minutes, Telegraph reports

Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah, seen in a home video (France 2)
Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah, seen in a home video (France 2)

The father of one of the victims of Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah accused the French spy service of paying Merah’s father thousands of euros for a clip of his final minutes detailing his links with the agency.

Albert Chennouf-Meyer, whose son Abel, a soldier, was killed by Merah in March 2012, filed a legal complaint in France for “destruction of evidence,” according to The Telegraph.

Merah went on a killing spree that year, gunning down a total of seven people, including three soldiers, three Jewish children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Chennouf-Meyer alleges that the DGSE paid Merah’s father 30,000 euros for two 20-minute clips he was reportedly sent by his son during the final hours of his life. Merah was killed by elite police after a 32-hour siege of his apartment in Toulouse.

The clips are said to contain recorded messages from Mohammed Merah detailing his links and activities for the spy agency.

Merah’s father was deported by France on Friday, police sources said.

Authorities said he been in the country illegally for months after authorities refused to renew his residency permit in March.

A source close to the case said the father, Mohamed Benalel Merah, was arrested near the cemetery where his son was buried.

He was questioned and put on a flight to Algeria.

The deportation angered the lawyers working for Chennouf-Meyer who expressed “indignation at the hastiness of the public authorities whereas it was absolutely imperative that he be questioned about the videos recorded and the money handed over in exchange for his silence”.

“This is a magnificently botched chance to clarify the situation,” lawyer Frédéric Picard was quoted by the Telegraph as saying. “If you wanted to feed the conspiracy theories, you couldn’t go about it a better way,” said Béatrice Dubreuil, another lawyer, according to the report.

Merah’s father was the first to mention the existence of the clips, which according to an Algerian paper, detailed the self-styled al-Qaeda terrorist’s links with French intelligence.

Chennouf-Meyer said through his lawyers that he was convinced a deal was struck when he was approached by Algerian intelligence agents while on a trip to Algeria in 2012 who reportedly told him that “he will never know the truth as the videos were bought by the DGSE from Merah’s father,” according to the Telegraph.

French authorities have said they questioned Mohammed Merah in 2011 when he returned to France from Pakistan but nothing more.

An Italian paper citing French and Israeli intelligence sources wrote that the DGSE allegedly used Merah as an informant during his travels to Jordan, Afghanistan and Israel in 2010.

The report said Merah was allowed to travel freely in exchange for information.

“Merah was considered to fit the profile of the kind of young man who could infiltrate terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and provide crucial intelligence to western countries,” according to the Italian report.

French authorities denied the claims.

 

Intelligence sources told AFP earlier this year that Merah’s half-brother Essid was suspected of having appeared in an Islamic State group execution video.

Merah’s sister Souad also left for Syria in 2014, the sources said.

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