Major media outlets say Muhammad Merah has not been arrested, but says he will surrender “this afternoon.” The excuse is familiar and predictable, as pretexts for revenge are a renewable resource for jihadists. There will always be a grievance, there will always be an excuse for more bloodshed, and there will always be an excuse for collective punishment of people who had nothing to do with the grievance except for some concocted guilt by association.
And no amount of bloodshed will ever be enough; for the jihadists, there can always be more. Ultimately, it is not about this or that excuse du jour. They will never say, “Okay, fine. That’s enough revenge,” because that is not what it is about. This is about supremacism and antisemitism.
First: “LIVE: Police say besieged gunman to surrender today,” from France 24, March 21:
French police are negotiating with a man suspected of killing three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in south-western France. Officials say the 24-year-old has claimed links to al Qaeda and said he wanted to “take revenge for Palestinian children” killed in the Middle East. […]
Police laying siege to the home of the chief suspect in the recent killings of seven people in south-western France say the 24-year-old gunman has agreed to surrender later today.
More: “French gunman to give himself up ‘this afternoon’,” from Reuters and the Jerusalem Post, March 21:
TOULOUSE, France – A gunman, suspected of killing three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in the name of al-Qaida, said on Wednesday he would hand himself over to police after an hours-long siege in which he wounded three officers. The suspect was named as Muhammad Merah, aged 24, AFP reported.
About 300 police, some in bullet-proof body armor, cordoned off an area surrounding an apartment in a Toulouse neighborhood in southwestern France, where the 24-year-old Muslim man was holed up. Shots were heard in the early hours of the morning, and police said three officers had been slightly wounded.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the gunman was a French citizen of Algerian origin who had been to Pakistan and Afghanistan and had shot dead the four in revenge for French military involvement abroad. He is also suspected by authorities of killing three soldiers of North African origin last week.
“He said … he will turn himself in this afternoon,” Gueant told BFM television, adding the man had thrown a Colt 45 pistol from the house in exchange for a “communication device”.
He still has an Uzi machine gun, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and other weapons, the minister said. […]
French Interior Minister Gueant said earlier the gunman wanted revenge “for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to attack the French army because of its foreign intervention”.
“He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al-Qaida,” he told journalists in Toulouse.
Gueant did not say how they had tracked the man down, but that police were talking to his brother at a separate location in connection with the killings.
France’s Europe 1 radio said he had been picked up by Pakistani intelligence services in Afghanistan’s Kandahar and his details had been sent to the French security services. It gave no date.