The Spectacle Blog

Manhunt in France for Moped Shooter

By on 3.19.12 | 11:41AM

There is now a nationwide manhunt in France for a shooter on a moped after three students and an adult were shot and killed outside a Jewish school today in Toulouse. Apparently, the adult was the father of two of the students killed.

The person responsible for these killings is also believed to be responsible for the murders of several French military personnel. On March 11th, an off-duty airborne sergeant was killed in Toulouse as he waited to meet a man about selling his motorcycle. Four days later, three paratroopers were shot outside an ATM in Montauban (about 35 miles north of Toulouse) resulting in two deaths. All the killingsappear to have been committed while the shooter was either on or operating a moped.

These killings are eerily reminiscient of the DC/Beltway Sniper attacks nearly a decade ago which resulted in the deaths of ten people over the course of three weeks in the fall of 2002. Of course, that was the work of two gunmen (John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo) who were motivated in large part by jihad. Muhammad was executed in 2009 while Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

It appears that French authorities are looking for one gunman. I suspect the gunmen has a police or military background. It is worth remembering that Muhammad, a convert to Islam, was in the Army and served overseas during the Gulf War attaining expert marksman status. However, the key difference here is that Muhammad and Malvo chose their victims randomly. So far the targets have been Jewish civilians and members of the French military of Arabic origin. Could it be that the gunman is Muslim (whether by origin or conversion) and is targeting soldiers with Arabic backgrounds because he believes they have betrayed Islam? Or do we have another Breivik on our hands? Whatever the case, French authorities had better find this gunman fast because chances are he isn't done.

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