Uproar in France over tapes of terrorism suspect
PARIS (AP) - French authorities are investigating how recorded conversations between police and a young man accused of a terrorist rampage earlier this year were leaked to the media. The broadcasting of the tapes, meanwhile, has outraged the families of those killed in the suspect's alleged shooting spree in southern France.
French television station TF1 aired audio recordings Sunday night that it said were of Mohamed Merah talking to police during a standoff in March in Toulouse that ended with him being shot dead. Police say Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman, killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in attacks that jolted France's national psyche and revived fears about extremist violence.
The Paris prosecutor's office said Monday it has opened an investigation into the broadcast, which could violate French rules on the privacy of investigations.
In the recordings, the suspect describes traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan and explains why he won't surrender to police.
Police say Merah espoused radical Islam and claimed allegiance to al-Qaida. Merah was holed up in his apartment for 32 hours surrounded by police before dying in a shootout. (...)