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French police search home of Toulouse killer’s brother

JTA

September 27, 2012 | 1:18 pm

French special unit police at the home of Abdelkader Merah, the brother of Mohamed Merah, during a investigation in Auterive, southwestern France, on Sept. 26. Photo by REUTERS/Bruno Martin

French special unit police at the home of Abdelkader Merah, the brother of Mohamed Merah, during a investigation in Auterive, southwestern France, on Sept. 26. Photo by REUTERS/Bruno Martin

French police searched the home of Abdelkader Merah, the brother of the man who murdered a rabbi and three children at a Toulouse Jewish school.

Wednesday's raid was conducted to determine if Abdelkader Merah was connected to the March 19 attack by his younger brother, Mohamed, at the Ozar Hatorah School that killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two young sons, as well as the 7-year-old daughter of the school's principal. The younger Merah, who jumped to his death from a window amid a hail of gunfire, also was wanted for the murders of three French troops.

The French prosecutor's office filed preliminary murder and terrorism charges against Abdelkader Merah in March and, according to The Associated Press, since then he has been in police custody. He is suspected of involvement in preparing for the murders and the actual killings, the French news agency AFP reported.

Preliminary charges under French law mean there is strong reason to suspect a crime was committed but allow added time to investigate. The moves suggested that investigators have strong reason to believe that the younger Merah was not acting alone when he planned his attacks.

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