French gunman trained with Taliban

2012-03-25 14:33

Dera Ismail Khan - The al-Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people in France trained with the a faction of the Pakistan Taliban at a camp near the border with Afghanistan, a spokesperson for the militant group said on Sunday.

"Mohamed Merah trained with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in North Waziristan," Ahmed Marwat, who identified himself as a spokesperson for the TTP's Jandola faction, told Reuters.

"However, we do not have any information on the attacks in France. That is not linked to us."

There was no independent confirmation of Marwat's claim.

Merah was killed on Thursday in a gun battle with police after he killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three soldiers in three separate attacks.

Acted alone?

The head of the French domestic intelligence agency has said there was no evidence Merah belonged to any radical Islamist network.

Investigators are still trying to establish whether Merah had any logistical or ideological support or if he acted alone.

Foreign militants have often found refuge with the TTP, formed in 2007 as an umbrella group of various Pakistani militant factions operating in Pakistan's unruly northwestern tribal areas along the porous border with Afghanistan.

Two senior TTP commanders told Reuters that over 80 French nationals are present in North Waziristan, and are members of a largely foreign group of militants called the Jihad-e-Islami. Pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda, they work closely with the TTP.

The Pakistan Taliban have long struggled with their choice of targets. Some factions are at war with the Pakistani state while others concentrate on the fight against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.

Several offensives by the Pakistani military in the tribal areas have failed to eliminate the TTP and its affiliates. Clashes between soldiers and militants are frequent.

In the town of Wana in South Waziristan, 15 militants were killed and 4 soldiers killed in a skirmish on Saturday between Taliban fighters and the military, intelligence officials said on Sunday.

  • Jaba - 2012-03-25 15:34

    Many in the West have condemned the Toulouse murders and killer's monstrosity in recent days, and some even expanded the scope of denunciation to include Mohammed Mareh's jihadist sources of inspiration and the hotbeds of fundamentalist Islamic incitement. Yet still, almost everyone is staying away from pointing the finger at Islam as a whole, a religion that like an interminable production line gives rise to such phenomena, organizations and murderers. These terror attacks, are aimed at killing as many people as possible, at times while executing children; the Islamic terror industry knows no boundaries and cannot be satisfied. In 2010 alone, according to official figures, Islamic terror and violence slaughtered no fewer than 29,832 people. The actual numbers are likely much higher. God help us all.

      BADBREATH - 2012-03-25 16:15

      @Jaba, the reason why they not pointing fingers at Islam is because Islam is not responsible for all the mayhem and murder everyone knows the culprit is America and its foreign policy, if you subject any people to the injustice and cruelty the Muslim people has to suffer because of western imperialist greed the result would be the same. If you count the amount of innocent children and woman NATO has bombed maimed and killed the number above is miniscule in comparison (not that I condone the death of even one innocent person), be fair when commenting and don’t defend the true aggressors!

      Fred - 2012-03-25 16:44

      badbreath, your thought process is the single reason why Islam has such a horrendous image. You are irresponsible and you like to blame. You like to lie too. Until you grow up and become responsible you and Islam will be in the dark shadows of human history.

      the-truth-shall-prevail - 2012-03-25 17:07

      Yes Fred, Islam’s image is horrendous amongst the ignorant and blind and at the same time Islam is the fastest spreading religion amongst the intelligent and wise!

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