French police are engagaged in a stand-off with a self-proclaimed al Qaeda jihadist, suspected of killing three children, a teacher and three soldiers, after swooping on a house in an early morning raid.
Armed police exchanged shots with the man, who is refusing to surrender, after descending on the house in Toulouse at 3am. His brother was arrested at a separate location. The 24 year-old told police he was a jihadist for al Qaeda seeking revenge for Palestinian children and French military postings overseas. The Telegraph live update page confirms the earlier information from BBC Breakfast news that his name is 'Mohammed'.
His mother, who is from Algeria, was brought to the scene but she refused to reason with him, saying she had "little control" over him.
Claude Gueant, the French interior minister, who is at the scene, said: "He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al Qaeda. He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions. . . This person has made trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the past ... and says he belongs to Al-Qaeda and says he wanted to avenge Palestinian children and to attack the French army."
Police sources told RTL radio that detectives tracked him down thanks to a tip off from a scooter dealer who said he had received a visit from a man last week asking for advice on customising his vehicle.
The dead soldiers - Corporal Abel Chennouf, 25, and Private First Class Mohammed Legouade, 23, both of the 17t Parachute Engineering Regiment - were French soldiers of North African Arab origin. Arab soldiers are prized targets for groups like Al-Qaeda, which regards Muslims who fight for Western armies as traitors. I believe that Crp Chennouf was a Christian - obviously a dhimmi upstart.
On Wednesday, the bodies of the four Jewish victims arrived in Israel. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and seven-year-old Miriam Monsonego arrived at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv shortly before daw. They were to be buried later in the day.
French news channel BFM TV identified the Islamist group as Forsane Alizza (Knights of Glory) but it was not immediately possible to confirm this. The suspect, a French citizen of Algerian descent, is believed to have been trained with al-Qaida on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to an Israel Army Radio report. According to the BBC the group was banned by Mt Gueant in January.
A drunken 15-year-old girl was filmed naked and pleading as a gang of six men sexually abused her throughout the night, a court heard. Harrowing footage from one of the defendant’s mobile phones seen by Leeds Crown Court showed the young girl lying naked while men laughed and touched her.
She could be heard saying: 'Give me back my clothes' and 'let me go'
Ali Rehman, 26, his brother Hassan, 18, Larasab Hussain, 45, Faisar Younas, 23, Saqib Hussain, 31, and Wahid Hussain, 19, are on trial in West Yorkshire after the teenager was 'used and abused like an object'.
The jury watched the videos as Sharon Beattie, prosecuting, transcribed the men's conversation - which was in Urdu, Punjabi and English
Miss Beattie said: 'In her account, various videos were taken that evening, only one was recovered - taken at the end of the evening. But it demonstrates how they were treating her as an object, something to use and abuse. There is no question of her giving consent to any activities that evening.'
The court heard how the schoolgirl had been drinking with a friend on the night of May 11, 2010, when they went to Ali Rehman's home, where they shared Jack Daniels and coke with him and his friends.
The abuse began, the court heard, when the teenager was led upstairs to a bedroom and she was laid down on a mattress. The girl had told police that Rehman allowed his friend Saqib Hussain into the room and told him: 'You have 10 minutes.'
Miss Beattie told the court: 'If this is right it demonstrates from the off Ali Rehman was set on this girl being available for the sexual gratification of himself and his friends and the fact she couldn’t walk demonstrates she was vulnerable to all these men.'
After 10 minutes it is alleged that Rehman then entered the room and raped her, but was interrupted by his brother telling him they had to leave.
. . . back to Rehman’s home, where the police discovered the girl in the morning.
At first the girl denied that anything had happened to her out of fear, the court heard. But she changed her mind and gave her full account in October 2010.
Ali Rehman is charged with three accounts of rape, and one of attempted rape, Saqib Hussain is charged with sexual assault, Faisar Youas with one account of rape, Hassan Rehman with attempted rape, Wahid Hassan with one account of attempted rape and Larasab Hussain with an account of sexual assault. I have left that as published in the Daily Mail. The indictment would of course have read, “one count of rape etc”. It raises the question of what training are these reporters given before they are sent to a court to cover a trial? Court reporting used to be a specialised business; now papers rely too much on press releases and the agencies instead of giving their recruits vigorous training.
The men, all from Dewsbury, deny the charges. The trial continues.
Claude Guéant, the interior minister, says Mohammed Merah, the alleged gunman, had been "followed for several years by the DCRI intelligence services". He said:
They never had any proof that he was preparing a criminal act. He committed several acts of delinquency, a dozen, some with violence His radicalisation took place within a group with a Salafist ideology and undertook two trips, one to Afghanistan one to Pakistan.
10.05 Breaking news from AFP. Police now say they have detained the alleged gunman's mother, brother and his brother's girlfriend. Henry Samuel reports that a second brother and two sisters of the gunman have also been arrested.
Police are hunting three men following the explosion of a bomb outside the Indonesian embassy in Paris' 16th arrondissement. A witness saw one man jump into a Citroen C3 containing two other men and drive off just before the explosion in the early hours of this morning. Nobody was hurt. No link has been established between the Toulouse killings and the explosion in Paris.
09.47 France's most senior Muslim leader says the gunman has acted against Islam. Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Muslim Council said:
These acts are in total contradiction with the foundations of this religion. France's Muslims are offended by this claim of belonging to this religion.
France 24 report that the gunman claims footage of the shootings will be published online today.
A teenager has told a child sex grooming trial how a taxi driver plied her with drink before having sex with her.
The girl told a jury how Mohammed Sajid, who she knew as Saj, picked her up in his car on a Rochdale street and asked if she wanted to ‘chill’ with him. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in her early teens at the time. She said the man bought her a bottle of vodka and then took her to a house in Nelson, Lancashire, where they had sex. A court heard how ‘Saj’ allegedly claimed he was aged in his 20s and didn’t ask the girl’s age.
During video interviews, played to the jury at Liverpool crown court, the girl told officers: “He probably thought I was vulnerable because I had had a drink.” Asked how old she was at the time the girl could not remember exactly but said she would have been 13 or 14.
The teenager is the last of five girls to give evidence. Earlier, the fourth alleged victim told the trial how she was sexually assaulted in a takeaway.
The teenager described how she had gone to the Rochdale takeaway with three school friends and were offered free food. The girl said she later went to the upper floor of the venue, because one of her friends ‘fancied’ one of the staff.
But she described how a fat, balding man aged in his 50s, groped her. She told police: “He came up and gave me a cuddle. I went mental and said get off me. He was literally feeling me and he started squeezing. It felt really minging. I shouted at him and said ‘Don’t do that again’.”
Prosecutors say the man who allegedly assaulted the girl is a 59-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons.
A care home manager has told a jury in a sex-grooming trial how a teenager he was looking after sobbed after handing him a note detailing how she had been abused. The manager said the young girl had twice asked to move away from the care home he was running in the Rochdale area. In the first incident, he told the court, she posted a note under his office door late at night in March 2010. It made clear she was wanted to move but did not say why.
The manager told the court: "Staff questioned her about why she wanted to be moved but she wouldn’t give reasons. She said she needed to be moved for her safety as well as our own but would not say what that actually involved. She looked like she wanted to tell us why but at the same time she was scared at what would happen if she did."
The manager said that days later the girl wrote a second note which she passed directly to him. That note, read to the jury, said: ‘Asians pick me up, they get me drunk, they give me drugs, they have sex with me and pay me not to tell anyone. I want to move’. The manager told the court: "She was crying, sobbing, and didn’t want to look at us but she wanted the help."
Earlier he had said the girl had changed from a ‘quite pleasant’ youngster who regularly attended schools. He added: "She was easy to get along with and she was doing really well." But the manager said the girl began to go missing from the beginning of January 2010, sometimes for a few days and once for two weeks. He said in all she absconded 19 times and never discussed where she had been or what she had done.
News reports today have linked the Toulouse gunman responsible for the murders of seven people, now identified as French citizen Mohammed Merah, to a recently banned French extremist group with connections to Britain.
Named Forsane Alizza (FA – the Knights of Pride), the group bears many similarities to the UK-based al-Muhajiroun/Islam4UK network.
FA is led by a young French Muslim called Mohamed Achamlane, and has between 30 and 100 official members. However, it is not a formally structured organisation, and likely has many more sympathisers. On the internet, the group can count on nearly 2,000 supporters on Facebook and 400 followers on Twitter.
The group appears to be part of a loosely connected European network of extremist Islamists who share the same ideology and use similar tactics. Each group often has a number of names, one of which typically begins with the label ‘Sharia4’ followed by the country, such as ‘UK’, Belgium, or ‘France’. Among the names used by FA is ‘Sharia4France’. Videos posted on YouTube show that FA has connections with its UK ideological counterparts, al-Muhajiroun (aka, Sharia4UK, Islam4UK, Muslims Against Crusades)
In January 2012, FA was banned by French Interior Ministry for inciting racial hatred. Since then, the group has re-formed on the internet, establishing the Force de Defense Musulmane sur Internet (FDMI –Online Muslim Defence Force). The group is careful not to call for terrorism openly, but supports jihadist groups around the globe. Following its ban, however, Achamlane warned that ‘armed struggle is possible’ should French society become more hostile to Islam. Its promotional videos feature paintballing exercises and combat training, ostensibly for the purposes of self-defence.
The group as a whole is unlikely to have formal links with Al-Qaeda, but individual members may have attended Al-Qaeda training camps.
As well as sharing the same ideological outlook, FA seems to have coordinated activities with its UK counterparts. Among its official videos is footage which claims to be of a rally ‘for the defence of Islam’ held by FA in partnership with Shariah4UK and Sharia4Belgium. This video also includes footage of a British man addressing the crowd, standing in front of a ‘Shariah4France’ poster.
I think this is the video they mean - Forsane alizza, sharia4uk et sharia4belgium réuni à Paris pour défendre l'islam. The English speaker is at 7.40 'we have travelled across Europe etc.' At 7.43 the camera pans back to a pale white man with a ginger beard who looks familiar although I can't tell you who he is, then pans round to several faces I have definitely seen with Muslims Against Crusades, including this ginger headed boy here.
Gordon noted these realities in rebuttal to false claims of Florida CAIR Director Shibly and Muslim Brotherhood front United Voices for America led by ex Tampa CAIR executive Ahmed Bedier :
The ALAC legislation (SB1360) died because Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos didn’t call up the bill , although calendared for action, because he wanted his pet legislation passed before he left office;
As evidenced by the overwhelming House passage of the ALAC legislation (HB 1209) by a vote of 92 to 24, and all the hurdles passed by the Senate version of ALAC (SB1360) the measure would have been adopted if it had not been for the actions of Senate President Haridopolos;
Incoming Florida legislative leadership contacted during the 2012 ALAC legislative battle indicated support for measure’s re-introduction in next year’s session;
In review of the CAIR playbook for combating the ALAC legislation issued in February 2012, Gordon noted the vicious ad hominem attacks on ALAC author David Yerushalmi, CAIR further faslely alleged that Shariah is not in violation of Article VI of the US Constitution, and the Muslim Brotherhood front group endorsed ADL’s specious arguments;
Gordon revealed that Florida CAIR director and his mother were detained at the US Canadian border in 2004 by DHS for having attending a known terrorist funding group meeting in Canada. Because of this the Shiblys’ suit in 2007 for discrimination was dismissed by a federal court in Buffalo;
According to sources the bogus arguments of CAIR, the UVA and ADL were not recognized in the 2012 legislative debates over adoption of ALAC ;
Gordon suggested that the ADL involvement in future legislative deliberations of ALAC in Florida and other states should be sidelined given groups ADL’s mistaken views emboldening CAIR and other Muslim brotherhood group opposing the legislation. The National Conference on Jewish Affairs has called for ADL ledaer Abe Fixman to resign as a result of the Florida ALAC episode and other similar incidents.
You may listen to the segment with Gordon on The Dr. Rich Show segment, here.