Killing Spree in France Descriptive Essay by Carly Evans

This paper describes and explores the events surrounding the killing spree that took place between 11 March and 22 March, 2012 in and around Toulouse, France.
# 150749 | 1,588 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published by on Apr 02, 2012 in Political Science (Terrorism)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper explores the events surrounding the killing spree that took place between 11 March and 22 March, 2012 in and around Toulouse, France, the motives for the attack, and the subsequent public response. The paper first discusses how, in three separate attacks, a gunman murdered seven people, including three French soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi. The paper then explains that in each attack, a man on a scooter was seen fleeing the scene. Next, the paper explains how police were able to track down a suspect, a French son of Algerian immigrants named Mohammed Merah, and corner him in his house; a day-long siege ensued that ended with Merah being killed. This paper then talks about Merah's motives and his connection to the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Merah admitted during the siege that he had been trained by al Qaeda operatives, but evidence collected afterwards seemed to indicate he acted alone. This is followed with a discussion on how the event has caused recriminations to fly among the French police agencies, and how, due to his effective handling of the tragedy and his subsequent vows to crack down on terrorism, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has risen in popularity and now seems secure in his bid to win the upcoming election for the French presidency.

A Timeline of Events
Background and Motives for the Attack
The Public Response

From the Paper:

"At first, it seemed clear that Mohammed Merah was an Al Qaeda-trained operative motivated by political and radical Islam. In fact, that is precisely how Merah described himself. "During the more than 30-hour standoff that ultimately ended his life, a boastful Mohammed Merah told law enforcement officials that he had been trained by Al Qaeda. He described how he had been motivated to kill his seven victims in a shooting rampage that terrorized this city by his resentment over the fate of the Palestinians, the French military presence in Afghanistan and France's ban on the full veil in public places. (Dan Bilefsky, New York Times)

"Prior to and during the siege, police dug deeply into Merah's past history, and "it emerged that Merah was a serial petty criminal, rejected twice from the French army, who had travelled to Afghanistan to be trained as a jihadist." (Samuel and Goven) Claude Gueant, France's interior minister, confirmed that Merah had also told police that he had "received instructions from al-Qaeda during a trip to Pakistan," and that the terrorist higher-ups had "proposed he commit a suicide bomb attack. [Merah] refused, but accepted a general mission to commit a terrorist attack in France...." (Samuel and Govan)

"But as the days passed and investigations turned up little to connect Merah with any organized terrorist hierarchy, officials have revised their assessments. "While clearly determined and driven at least in part by political grievances, Mr. Merah may have exaggerated his claims to terrorist training, and certainly did not receive a thorough one if he had any at all, investigators and intelligence experts say. His support network, too, if he had any, seems tenuous or highly personal, they said." (Bilefsky)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bilefsky, Dan. ``Toulouse Killer's Path a Bitter Puzzle.'' New York Times. (March 29, 2012) : Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
  • Flynn, Daniel. ``Sarkozy to bar some imams from entering France.'' Reuters News Agency. March 26, 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
  • ``France arrests suspected Islamic militants.'' Reuters News Agency. (March 30, 2012) : Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
  • ``French police round up suspected Islamists.'' (March 30, 2012) : Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
  • McPartland, Ben. ``French media lead inquisition into Toulouse killing spree.'' (March 23, 2012). Web. 30 Mar. 2012.

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Killing Spree in France (2012, April 02) Retrieved December 07, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Killing Spree in France" 02 April 2012. Web. 07 December. 2021. <>