Mohammed Merah, 23, has been named the suspect in the recent killing of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, and of three French paratroopers days before.
At the moment, French police are in a tense standoff with the alleged gunman at his flat in Toulouse. As authorities attempt to negotiate his surrender, facts about the murder suspect are beginning to emerge.
1. He was born in France in October 1988 and is of Algerian descent.
2. He grew up in a northern suburb of Toulouse in a neighborhood described as ridden with drug-related crime.
3. As a minor, Merah was often involved in theft and robbery, and was sentenced 15 times in juvenile court. He also served two short prison terms in 2007 and 2009.
4. He used to work in an auto body shop.
5. Merah is known to have traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan twice in 2010 and 2011. He has claimed that he trained with al Qaeda operatives in Waziristan in Pakistan, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.
6. Merah came under surveillance by France's domestic intelligence agency after returning from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
7. According to Molins, Merah has communicated with the police surrounding his flat, telling them that he acted alone and that he planned to kill more solidiers Wednesday.
8. Merah's mother was asked to help police negotiate with her son, but refused, saying she no longer had any control over him.
9. Merah has exchanged gunfire with police, injuring two officers so far.
10. Police have found weapons in his car, and believe he has more stashed in his apartment as he continues to exchange gunfire.