Søster til Mohammed Merah, massedrapsmannen fra Toulouse, befinner seg trolig i Syria, bekreftet den franske innenriksministeren fredag. Han mente hun har reist for å slutte seg til partneren som deltar i krigen.
Souad Merah har tatt sine fire barn med seg.
At søsteren deler brorens standpunkt og ideologi kom frem i et intervju med skjult opptak. Her sa hun at hun beundret broren som skjøt syv mennesker, hvorav en rabbiner og tre jødiske barn.
On Thursday, police raided Souad Merah’s home, also in Toulouse, after the counterterrorism branch of the Paris prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation into her suspected connections to a terrorist organisation. Upon entering the apartment, however, they found no trace of Merah or of her four young children.
An anonymous interior ministry official later said that the government believed Merah had left France for Syria – a suspicion Cazeneuve made public on Friday, despite claims by both the young woman’s mother and lawyer she was away on holiday in Tunisia.
“Souad Merah took a Barcelona-Istanbul flight May 9, a Turkish Airlines plane,” Cazeneuve told French radio Europe 1 on Friday, adding that she then boarded a flight from Istanbul to the southern city Gaziantep, which lies near Turkey’s border with Syria. “There are strong suspicions that she is in Syria.”
The interior minister said Merah had taken her children with her, and is believed to have gone to join her partner who is “possibly in Syria”.
Known for her radical religious beliefs, Merah came under fierce criticism in late 2012 after declaring she was “proud” of her brother Mohamed“for fighting to the end,” during a conversation with another sibling that was secretly recorded and then broadcast by French television M6.Merah was placed under investigation for condoning terrorism, but she later came forward to publicly condemn her brother’s actions and the inquiry was eventually dropped.