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The Latest: Mother: Brother didn't help 2012 French attacker

Latifa Ibn Ziaten, mother of Mohammed Merah's first victim, answers the Associated Press in Paris, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Soon after Mohammed Merah's life ended in a torrent of explosions and bullets, Ibn Ziaten swore she would devote her life to ensuring that no other parents would suffer as she had. But since the March 2012 attacks on a Jewish school and paratroopers left seven people dead, France has endured a seemingly endless series of attacks and near-misses from homegrown extremists with the same backstory. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
October 02, 2017 - 4:51 AM

PARIS - The Latest on the 2012 Toulouse attacks trial in France (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

The mother of a French jihadi who killed Jewish schoolchildren and soldiers in 2012 says she's crying for all his victims — and is pleading for mercy for his brother.

Zoullikha Aziri made a tearful plea to reporters Monday outside a Paris trial for her son Mohammed Merah's 2012 rampage in southern France that left seven people dead. She says "I cry for the victims, for the families," insisting "that's not what Islam is about."

Mohammed Merah was killed by police and his brother Abdelkader is now on trial accused of complicity. Their mother said "I'm sorry about what Mohammed Merah did" but insisted that "Abdelkader had nothing to do with that."


1:40 p.m.

Emotions were raw at Monday's trial for the 2012 Islamic extremist rampage in France that left seven people dead.

Samuel Sandler, whose son Jonathan and his grandchildren Gabriel and Arieh were killed in the 2012 Toulouse attacks, denounced the attackers as "rotten people who rot in a hole."

He insulted the mother of slain attacker Mohammed Merah after she took the stand. A police officer urged him to keep quiet.


1 p.m.

The estranged eldest brother of a man on trial in the 2012 attacks on a Jewish school and soldiers in the south of France says his sibling wants to "bring France to its knees."

Abdelghani Merah's youngest brother Mohammed killed seven people in the Toulouse region and ushered in a new era of homegrown jihadi attacks. Mohammed Merah died in a police shootout.

A third brother, Abdelkader, is on trial on terrorism charges.

The eldest Merah told Europe 1 radio said that "there is in this doctrine a point of no-return. Abdelkader Merah has long since crossed it," ''If he ever gets out he will remain a danger to France."


10:25 a.m.

The first trial in a new era of homegrown jihadi attacks in France has opened in a Paris court under tight security.

The main defendant is a brother of Islamic radical Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people in attacks on a Jewish school and soldiers in the Toulouse region of southern France in 2012.

Mohammed Merah was killed in a shootout with police, and the trial of his brother Abdelkader is the first time a French court is publicly examining the attacks.

Abdelkader Merah, accused of complicity in terrorist murders, entered the courtroom Monday dressed all in white, with a long beard and ponytail. He faces up to life in prison if convicted. He denies wrongdoing.

A verdict is expected in early November.

Three Jewish children, a teacher and three paratroopers, including two Muslims, were killed over nine days, rocking France. Other similar jihadi attacks followed in subsequent years.


8:30 a.m.

The older brother of a French extremist who killed seven people in a series of attacks on a Jewish school and soldiers goes on trial for complicity in the 2012 shooting spree.

Monday's criminal trial of 35-year-old Abdelkader Merah will be the first time a French court considers charges in the attacks that took the lives of three Jewish children, a teacher and three paratroopers, over nine days in the Toulouse region.

The gunman, 23-year-old Mohammed Merah died after a 32-hour televised standoff with France's police special forces. Abdelkader Merah has denied helping his brother prepare for or perpetuate his deadly rampage.

Defence lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti says the older Merah was charged with complicity to terror and sent to trial "by default" because the actual killer was dead.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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