Video footage of Toulouse gunman delivered to TV
Sarkozy shakes hand with Muslim dignitaries before a ceremony to pay tribute to Muslim war veterans who fought for France, at the Grand Mosque in Paris. AP photoAl-Jazeera decided yesterday not to air a video that appears to show the attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school in southwestern France from the killer’s point of view, including the cries of his victims.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, other French officials and family members of the victims had asked that it not be broadcast.
A brief statement posted on the station’s website said: “Al-Jazeera will not air video of French shootings.” The images were contained on a USB key sent with a letter to the Paris office of the Qatar-based television company, Zied Tarrouche, the station’s Paris bureau chief, said yesterday on the French TV station BFM.
The letter, written in poor French with spelling and grammar errors, claimed the killings were carried out in the name of al-Qaeda. It was not immediately clear when the footage was received or who had sent it. Tarrouche said the images appeared to have been taken from the point of view of the killer, perhaps from a camera hung around his neck. He said they were a bit shaky but of a high technical quality.
The video had clearly been manipulated after the fact, according to Tarrouche, with religious songs and recitations of Quranic verses laid over the footage. “You can hear gunshots at the moment of the killings. You can hear the voice of this person who has committed these assassinations.
You can hear also the cries of the victims, and the voices were distorted,” Tarrouche said, the Associated Press reported. Sarkozy asked that the images not be broadcast. “I ask the managers of all television stations that might have these images not to broadcast them in any circumstances.”