French shooting suspect previously arrested in Afghanistan

The suspect in a string of deadly shootings who was under siege by French police on Wednesday had previously been arrested in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, cradle of the Taliban, police said.

A source close to the investigation told AFP that the 24-year-old, a French citizen of North African descent who is barricaded inside a Toulouse apartment, had once been arrested on a matter of common law in Afghanistan.

Previously, Interior Minister Claude Gueant had confirmed that the suspect was known to the French DCRI domestic intelligence agency and had been tracked visiting the lawless region on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

French intelligence officials have long said that French militants who have travelled to the battlefields of South Asia, where Al-Qaeda and other jihadist camps have training centres, pose a serious terror threat.

The Toulouse suspect, who has fired on police and was refusing to leave a building and surrender, is suspected of carrying out three shootings in recent days killing three off-duty soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi.

Source: AFP

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