Mohamed Merah, was a 23-year-old French guy of Algerian descent who loved cars, worked in a car repair/supply store, wanted to join the French army to "defend the French flag" but was refused, was partying in a nightclub three weeks before his alleged shooting spree, had a history of petty criminal offences and was due in court in April for driving without a license. He also had, allegedly, visited Israel, Afghanistan and Pakistan for some, as yet, unknown reason, perhaps "ideological indoctrination".
That's about as much as we can say about him without disseminating dubious government propaganda, specifically the claim that he was the author of the recent shootings in Toulouse. That particular claim is in serious doubt given that an eyewitness at one of the shootings stated clearly that the gunman, who always wore a motorbike helmet, was "stocky". Here's a recent picture of Mohamed Merah:
But let's not be too cynical, and allow for the possibility that it was, at least, Mohamed Merah in the besieged apartment where, after an alleged 33-hour stand-off, he was (again allegedly) shot by a police sniper. Here is the official story of how the drama unfolded as represented by one of those nice graphics:
Merah's apartment is 38m2 or about 6 meters by 6 meters or 20 feet by 20 feet. By any standards, that's a small place for an assault, and with Merah and 15 heavily armed 'RAID' police officers in there, it probably felt a little cramped. Look again at the graphic of how the drama officially played out.
Merah was in the tiny bathroom. He had, allegedly, three Colt 45 handguns, perhaps one in each hand and another stuck down the front of his pants. Actually, no, he couldn't have had one of the "several weapons" he was firing stuck down his pants. Because now we're being told that he "burst out of the bathroom wearing a black djellaba, a traditional loose-fitting North African robe, and a bullet-proof vest." By the way, Colt 45's are, I am told, a powerful weapon and very difficult to fire accurately without a lot of practice. The recoil also means you have to re-aim each time you fire. So Merah exits the bathroom, takes two steps across the hallway into the salon, walks or runs through that room, and climbs/jumps out the window, "firing wildly" as he goes, at which point he is shot by an sniper from some distance outside the building.
Throughout this short journey, which probably took no more than 5-10 seconds if Merah was running, the 15 RAID officers in that cramped space fired almost 300 rounds from their automatic weapons.
Not one of these bullets hit either Merah or any of the other members of the assault team. Actually, that's not quite true. According to the French Interior Minister, Claude Gueant, the final shoot-out injured two officers: "one is injured in the foot, the other is in a state of shock", Gueant said.
While M. Gueant did not admit as much, we can presume that the one officer who fell into a state of shock did so when he realised that 300 bullets fired from automatic weapons in a 6x6 meter apartment all missed their target.
Paris prosecutor and chief investigator Francois Molins told the media shortly after the end of the siege that "everything had been done to take Merah alive". This claim had been repeated, ad nauseum, by Sarkozy and the Interior Minister Claude Gueant. Clearly, this is a lie, and the reason I say this should become clear when you watch this short video, taken by one of Merah's neighbors, of police activity at the back of Merah's apartment:
The neighbor who recorded this video, claims that he knows precisely when it was recorded because the police had detonated several 'flash bangs' at that time. It was about 8am, three hours before the alleged "shoot-out". If RAID officers could walk into Merah's tiny apartment at 8am and spend 25 seconds inside, and then walk back out with an air of 'nothing to see here', why could they not have dropped a few canisters of tear gas or other incapacitating agent (sleeping gas for example) that such 'forces of law and order' certainly have in their armory? Clearly Merah was never meant to come out of that apartment alive. Why?