Attack on Nice: My Brother the Jihadist Mohamed Merah
A fascinating look into how a jihadist & his brother went in completely opposite directions, despite having the same dysfunctional upbringing.
The name I was sent jumped from the screen. The activist fighting Islamic radicalism on the French Riviera was Abdelghani Merah.
He had the same surname as Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old extremist who killed seven people in south-western France in 2012 before being shot dead by police.
I rang Abdelghani, introduced myself as a journalist reporting on jihadism in the Nice area, and remarked on the coincidence of his name.
“Mohamed Merah was my little brother,” he said in a soft Toulouse accent. I was startled.
We meet on Bastille Day. Abdelghani is wearing a T-shirt and a fake LA Dodgers cap. We find shelter from the sun at a cafe by a marina.
The 39-year-old tells me the story of the ultimate dysfunctional family. […]