Officials in the town of Tremblay in France reportedly gave preferential treatment to the mother of the Islamist terrorist who killed Jews in Toulouse, with possible help from her brother, a French lawmaker has said.
Gilbert Collard, MP for Gard, related to the FN, wrote to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe last week complaining that Zoulikha Merah had been favored over other applicants for public housing on the basis of an application in which is mentioned the need to be closer to his eldest son imprisoned in Villepinte. He is now accused of helping his younger brother, Mohammed, kill four Jews and three soldiers in 2012.
“This woman has indeed been given top priority for public housing in Tremblay,” Collard wrote. He has provided no evidence of the preferential treatment Zoulikha Merah allegedly received.
The municipality Collard cited is located 310 kilometers from Paris, where the trial of 35-year-old Abdelkader Merah opened last month, five years after he was arrested for helping his brother carry out the fatal shootings in Toulouse. But the accommodation is much closer to Paris than Zoulikha Merah's house in Toulouse, which is 650 kilometers from the capital.
Before his trial began, Abdelkader Merah was detained in Vivonne, which is located 374 kilometers from Toulouse. But his mother's request to be near him was made when he was still being held in Villepinte near Paris, Collard also wrote.
In addition to Abdelkader Merah, another Islamist suspect, Fettah Malki, 34, is also accused of helping Mohammed Merah carry out the terrorist attacks in March 2012. Momammed Merah shot dead three children and a rabbi at the school. He was killed in an apartment shooting three days after the school shooting.
Both the elder brother and Malki have denied knowledge of Mohammad Merah's planning of the attacks, but police say they have evidence to suggest both were involved in planning the attacks.
Abdelkader Merah also supported his brother spiritually and psychologically to become a terrorist, the prosecution claims.
Born into a family of four, Mohammed Merah was "raised as an anti-Semite because anti-Semitism was part of the family atmosphere", his younger brother Abdelghani said in 2013.
Abdelghani Merah has denounced his family publicly, calling their denials and declarations of innocence part of their belief in taqqiyah – an Islamic term meaning “subterfuge” in the service of jihad.
The Merahs' sister, Souad, fled France after authorities questioned her for saying she was proud of her brother. She and her four children were seen in the Turkish town of Gazyantep three years ago, from where they are believed to have crossed the border into Syria to join the Islamic State terror group, according to TF1 .