You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Brother of Toulouse attacker on trek against radicalism


Five years after his brother killed seven people in the name of Islam, Abdelghani Merah is walking across France to preach tolerance and warn against the dangers of religious radicalism.

Mohamed Merah killed three soldiers in southern France in March 2012. He then turned his anger on the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, where he killed a rabbi and his two sons, aged 4 and 5, and an 8-year-old girl.

Abdelghani has denounced the attacks and the radicalization of Mohamed and another brother, Abdelkader. Mohamed was killed in a police shootout and Abdelkader faces trial.

Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan before returning home. He was 23 when he attacked paratroopers and a Jewish school, claiming links to al-Qaida.

Abdelghani told The Associated Press on Friday that "before becoming a monster, Mohamed Merah was a child like all the others, happy, he wanted to live. People are not born terrorists, they become terrorists."

His brother "became a terrorist via the people who manipulated him, who used him for their propaganda and who have dehumanized him. He had been brainwashed," he said. "They simply stole his heart and his brain."

Abdelghani left Marseille on Feb. 8 for his walk across France and hopes to meet the justice minister Sunday in Paris to encourage stronger de-radicalization measures.

He says he knows that some people in France are offended by his trek.

"I know that the name 'Merah' is hated. I can understand that. I won't change it," he explained, adding that he does not want Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group to use his brother's name for their propaganda. "I want this name, for once, to raise awareness."

Islamic extremists have killed 235 people in France since January 2015.

___

Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this story.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Now we know how Hillary Clinton felt watching Trump’s inauguration speech
Now we know how Hillary Clinton felt watching Trump’s inauguration speech

In the latest feature by Clinton-chronicler Rebecca Traister in New York magazine, we get a further glimpse of what Hillary Clinton has been up to since Nov. 8. The most fascinating tidbits cast light on events that happened in the immediate aftermath of the election.   In the highlight of the profile, Clinton reveals what it was like to...
Thanks to Trump, Germany says it can’t rely on the United States — what does that mean?
Thanks to Trump, Germany says it can’t rely on the United States — what does that mean?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd Sunday in southern Germany that Europe can no longer rely on foreign partners. According to The Washington Post:   "Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe 'really must take our fate into...
Memorial Day: Rolling Thunder remembers the fallen
Memorial Day: Rolling Thunder remembers the fallen

Members of the motorcycle group Rolling Thunder have continued their 30-year tradition to make sure that the nation’s fallen haven’t been forgotten. Thousands of motorcyclists rode into the nation’s capital in honor of Memorial Day. They arrived Sunday before visiting Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and The World...
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Comey needs to be ‘held accountable’ over Clinton investigation decisions 
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Comey needs to be ‘held accountable’ over Clinton investigation decisions 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that he wants to review a document that then-FBI Director James B. Comey used as the reasoning behind his unusual public closure in July of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified material as secretary of state.   According to a report last week in The Washington Post, Comey...
Trump’s policy tweets contradict what the White House said just last week
Trump’s policy tweets contradict what the White House said just last week

President Donald Trump on Sunday evening called for more spending on health care and said his plan to overhaul the tax code "is actually ahead of schedule," two statements that are at odds with the budget proposal he unveiled just last week.   The statements came as part of a blizzard of Twitter posts the president made after he...
More Stories