Taqiyya, or the terrorist ‘art of deception'
A TV grab released by French TV France 2 on March 21, 2012 shows an image of 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent Mohamed Merah, suspected of a series of deadly shootings in Toulouse and Montauban which killed seven persons, including three children. AFP PHOTO / FRANCE 2
Nearly a year ago, as one of France’s longest-ever police sieges was about to end on the morning of March 22, 2012, Mohamed Merah – also known as “the Toulouse gunman” – uttered a cry that seemed enigmatic to the uninformed, but was weighted with meaning for counterterrorism experts.
“It’s not the money, it’s the deception that’s critical,” said the 23-year-old French-Algerian shortly before he jumped off his Toulouse apartment window and was gunned down by an elite French anti-terror unit.
The somewhat cryptic cry was a likely reference to “taqiyya” – a form of religious dissimulation or legal dispensation in which believers deny their faith or even commit blasphemous acts as a deception if they are seriously threatened or at risk of persecution.
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