Toulouse-morderen Mohamed Merah viser seg ikke å være en ensom ulv, skrev Le Monde torsdag. Han hadde utstrakt kontakt med andre land.
Etterretningsdokumenter viser at Merah foretok 186 telefoner til kontakter i 20 land mellom 1. september 2010 og 20. februar 2011.
Besides Egypt, where his brother was living at the time, and Algeria where his father lives, Merah also called Morocco, Britain, Spain, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Croatia, Romania, Bolivia, Thailand, Russia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Le Monde reported.
The documents gave no details on the identities of his contacts.
Det var tidligere leder av etterretningstjenesten, Bernard Squarcini, som sa Merah hadde radikalisert seg selv i fengsel i Toulouse, og at han ikke var del av noe nettverk.
Men nå viser politiets etterforskning noe annet.
«Mohamed Merah, not such a lone wolf,» read the Le Monde headline.
The 24-year-old former mechanic was killed by police on March 22 after a 32-hour siege of his Toulouse apartment.
He killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three soldiers in three attacks in Toulouse and the nearby town of Montauban. During the siege Merah told police negotiators he was mandated by al-Qaeda to carry out attacks in France.
French authorities poured scorn on that claim, despite Merah having travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Det kan være at fransk etterretning hadde et behov for å bagatellisere Merahs kontakter, siden de selv hadde overvåket ham, uten å gripe inn.
The Le Monde article reveals that Merah was already under surveillance by French and other intelligence services years before his rampage. An extract of one of the surveillance reports is quoted:
The dynamic surveillance regime focused on Mohamed Merah demonstrates that after a period of latency and observation, the target [Merah] is beginning to get closer to the Salafist movement in Toulouse, in particular with [here the name is redacted to preserve its confidentiality] but also and even more interesting with [there, two names are redacted for the same reason] both of whom were recently in Mauretania.»
Hvis disse opplysningene stemmer er sikkerhetstjenestens oppførsel en skandale. Drapene på syv mennesker kunne vært forhindret. Spørsmålet er hvorfor de ikke grep inn. Var det av politisk bekvemmelighet?