Shooter's Al Qaeda Ties Questioned

    France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon leaves the presidential Elysee palace at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting on March 21, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

    Jacques Demarthon, AFP / Getty Images

    French authorities say they have no proof that Mohamed Merah was connected to al Qaeda, speculating that he might have the claim in attempt to be associated with  a well-known "brand." Earlier on Friday, French Prime Minister François Fillon defended reports of security failures in the handling of Merah, who had been under surveillance in November but was never arrested. "We don't have the right in a country like ours to permanently monitor without judicial authorization someone who hasn't committed an offense," Fillon told French radio. Merah was killed in a firefight Thursday morning after a 32-hour standoff in Toulouse.

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