Members of several online jihadist forums have praised Mohammed Merah for his attacks on French Jews and soldiers. Comments on these forums include calls for similar lone-wolf attacks and describe Merah’s shootings as Allah’s revenge on France for its foreign policy and attitude toward Muslims.
Over the weekend, a video tribute to Merah entitled “The Lone Lion” also began circulating on the forums. The video begins with text commending Merah for killing “three French soldiers returning from Afghanistan” and “a Jewish rabbi and his children.” It also applauds him for fighting “the French special forces with courage until he was killed as a martyr.”
Funeral footage of Merah’s victims in France and Israel is juxtaposed with images of bleeding Palestinians and videos of Israeli airstrikes carried out by “the enemies of Allah, the Jews.” This section suggests the type of moral equivalence that Merah claimed prompted him to undertake his attacks.
The video also includes recordings of Osama bin Laden speaking about a promised war “between us and the Jews” and of current Al Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, describing England and the U.S. as legitimate targets because of the civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza.
The video concludes with a warning, apparently directed at French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that Merah’s wave of terror “is the beginning.”