No Islamists Here: Media Buries Motive on Toulouse

Kershner's mention of the recent terror against southern Israel is perverse for another reason. In the instance she describes as "disputed" -- according to Israeli sources, the boys were trying to fire a rocket into Israel -- a second teenager was injured. The injured boy was transferred to Israel for treatment. A youth was attempting to sow terror in Israel, was injured doing so, and Israel saw to his (unsuccessful) treatment. How is that similar to Toulouse?

Kershner, who was scrupulous in attributing children killed by Israel, even inadvertently, missed the case of another child killed in Gaza -- an eight-year-old who was killed by wild shooting at a funeral. Apparently when a child isn't killed by Israel, it isn't news.

Surprisingly, the most informative story I saw explaining Merah was “Suspect in France Shootings Seen as Homegrown Militant” (via Challah Hu Akbar):

Much of the concern about domestic terrorism in Britain, Belgium, Germany and France has focused on these young people, who may have had little formal religious education but are susceptible to calls for jihad, especially when their own lives have been marked by disappointment, crime, racism and joblessness.

France, with its significant Algerian population, has been under high terrorism alert since 2005, and in 2010 the police warned of a significant and “specific” risk of a terrorist attack from al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate. Since then, bomb threats have disrupted public transportation and forced the authorities to evacuate the Eiffel Tower.

Mr. Merah, with his history of delinquency, disaffection and militant links, holds precisely the résumé that terrorism experts say is most likely to yield a violent, homegrown jihadi. “We are halfway between the lunatic and the terrorist,” said Éric Denécé, an expert on French intelligence. “There is often a thin line between petty crime and al-Qaeda.”

The article explains how many Muslim youth became disaffected and turn to radical Islam. For the most part it doesn't attempt to minimize Merah's culpability. Whatever one thinks of Sarkozy's campaigning, it explains why Muslim immigrants are viewed with suspicion in France.

The article about homegrown militants also reinforces another question. Meryl Yourish asked: “Why not for the soldiers?” Meryl points out that after the soldiers were killed, French authorities had a lot of clues that may have well led them to Merah. Given that Merah already was on the authority's radar, why didn't the French police connect him to the soldiers' killings before he had a chance to strike at Otzar Hatorah?

We see that in the major media there was a hesitancy to attribute the massacre at Otzar Hatorah to a radical Islamist. Did the French authorities share the same reluctance?

(Patrick Poole and Barry Rubin provided background and research for this article.)