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Sarkozy's spy chief says 'French gunman had no ties to Al-Qaeda'

Paris, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 ANI

Paris, Mar 24 (ANI): French President Nicolas Sarkozy's spy chief has said that a gunman who killed three young children and a rabbi at a Jewish school, has no ties to organized groups or jihadists such as Al-Qaeda.

Ange Mancini, Sarkozy's intelligence adviser, said that the gunman, Mohamed Merah, might have made the claim because Al-Qaeda is a well-known 'brand.'

The official said authorities have "absolutely no element allowing us to believe that he was commissioned by Al-Qaeda to carry out these attacks."

According to CBS News, Mancini said on French TV that Merah only attacked the Jewish school after missing his original target-a French soldier.

He said that Merah had wanted to kill a soldier he had targeted Monday in Toulouse, but arrived too late and instead besieged a nearby Jewish school.

"It wasn't the school that he wanted to attack," Mancini said calling school shooting "opportunistic."

Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, was killed on Thursday in a shootout after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up for 32 hours in a standoff with authorities. (ANI)

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