Two months after he was shot dead by French special forces, a 23-year-old Algerian origin terrorist was found to have been plotting to attack the Indian embassy in Paris on the direction of his Taliban handlers in Pakistan.
Quoting sources from the French Internal Intelligence and the Special Forces, Le Monde reported that Mohamed Merah's Taliban handlers in Pakistan had tasked him to attack the Indian mission in Paris.
"That was the target given him by the Taliban who prepared him for jihad during his training in Pakistan in the summer of 2011," the paper quoted sources as saying.
Merah was killed after police and special forces laid an almost 32-hour siege of his apartment in Toulouse, after his armed attacks on a Jewish school and killing of army personnel outside their barracks on March 15.
During the siege, the terrorist had long chats with the policemen surrounding his house and contacts with them over the phone, which were recorded and are now part of the judicial dossier.
Merah told the police that he had dropped the plan to attack the Indian mission due to difficulty of the enterprise.
He told police that he had attended jihad camps in Pakistan and undergone al-Qaeda training.
Merah had long been known to the French authorities as a petty criminal but his links to Islamist extremism drew attention at a later stage.