By Brit, ResistRadio.com
Further evidence has emerged this week which suggests that Mohamed Merah, the Frenchman shot dead on March 22nd whilst accused of murdering seven in the name of Al Qaeda, was an intelligence asset and informant.
Resistance Radio reported on Merah’s extensive links to the intelligence services on the day he was shot dead by special forces, following a 32-hour standoff. This Tuesday March 27th Yves Bonnet, former head of France’s counter-espionage service Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) added his expert voice to those questioning the official narrative – which is that Merah was a “lone wolf” operative who somehow “slipped through the net”. Speaking to La Dépêche,
translated into English in The Independent, Bonnet said:
it was “striking” that Merah seemed to have a DCRI “handler”. “Having a handler, that is not an innocent thing,” he said. “I don’t know how far his relationship, or collaboration, with the service went but it is a question worth raising.”
Bonnet’s reference to “a handler” follows a statement by the head of the French internal security service, Bernard Squarcini, who earlier revealed that during the siege Merah had asked to speak to a Toulouse-based intelligence officer. This unnamed “young woman of North African origin” was the same agent who had interviewed Merah upon his return to France from a two-month trip to Pakistan in late 2011 – an interview after which he was mystifyingly allowed to leave without suspicion, having produced tourist photos that apparently convinced his interrogator that he had merely been on an innocent holiday trip.
Squarcini said that when Merah spoke to the agent during the siege, he told her that prior to his apprehension he had made plans to kill her. The Independent article speculates that Merah’s familiar form of French suggests a friendly relationship with the agent – though others have said that his use of “tu” rather than “vous” actually indicates disdain. Whether friendly or dismissive, the communication between the two certainly suggests that the agent may have been acting as his handler, with Merah an informant. As Alex Lantier notes, Squarcini said the interview had been:
“an administrative interview without coercion, as we were not in a judicial setting.” Thus Merah was freely giving the DCRI information it wanted to know; that is, he acted as an informant, officially or otherwise.
Other sources have similarly suggested that Merah was working for the intelligence services – which would explain how he was mysteriously able to enter Israel.
On March 26th, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an investigation by the internal intelligence service Shin Bet revealed Merah had spent three days in the country in September 2010. States Haaretz:
Merah entered Israel after crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan in September 2010. He was investigated by the Shin Bet. The investigation did not bring up any suspicious information, and he was allowed to enter the country.
Bernard Squarcini has said that Merah was even arrested with a knife whilst in Israel – allegations Shin Bet has not confirmed. Security sources have explained away his entry into the country by claiming that:
Merah visited Israel before his stay in Afghanistan or Pakistan, thus there was no information that could indicate whether or not he constituted a security threat.
using cover provided by the French external espionage service, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure(DGSE).
This claim has of course been denied by the DGSE, and dismissed as “grotesque”.
Considering his criminal history, his links to French Islamic extremist organisations, and particularly the fact that he was on a US no-fly list (though the date of his appearance on the list has not been confirmed by US authorities), it is very hard to understand how Merah was able to evade standard security procedures and freely enter Israel – unless, as the intelligence sources cited by Il Foglio claim, he was doing so as an asset and with the full awareness and protection of both the French and Israeli intelligence services.
If so, he would be merely the latest in a long line of Islamic assets who have committed appalling terrorist acts whilst fostered by the intelligence services; acts which are then typically passed off by the authorities as tragic, unforseeable events, and for which there is rarely any official accountability.