French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to continue cracking down on the so-called suspected Islamists, comparing the recent Toulouse shootings to the September 11, 2001 incidents in the US.
“The trauma… is profound for our country, a little, I don’t want to compare the horrors, a little like the trauma that followed in the United States and in New York after the September 11, 2001 attacks,” he said in an interview with Europe 1 radio on Friday.
On March 22, suspected shooter Mohammed Merah killed seven individuals in a shooting rampage in Toulouse.
Merah was later killed by French security forces. Authorities claim he had admitted to having links to al-Qaeda before his death, the circumstances of which remain murky as there are conflicting reports regarding the case.
French police have arrested about 20 Muslims in pre-dawn raids in Toulouse and reportedly seized Kalashnikov-type assault rifles.
On Sunday, authorities charged the gunman’s brother, Abdel-Kader Merah, with complicity in the attacks, although he has denied any involvement in the terrorist incident.
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