French Shooting Suspect Was on U.S. No-Fly List
The gunman suspected in a string of shootings in southern France was on the U.S.’s no-fly list as a suspected terrorist, according to people familiar with the matter.
Two people familiar with the case said Mohammed Merah was on the list because in 2010 he had been in custody in Afghanistan, then sent back to France. Counterterrorism officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which manages the U.S. no-fly list, also had collected information on Mr. Merah before the recent shootings in France, including the 2010 encounter, officials said.
The circumstances of his apprehension, detention and return to France weren’t entirely clear. U.S. military officials said they don’t have a record of his being in American custody while in Afghanistan.
Mr. Merah died in a shootout with French police following a tense armed standoff at a Toulouse apartment. During the standoff, Mr. Merah had claimed he had undergone training with al Qaeda in the Pakistan region of Waziristan, according to French officials.