The Mother of Toulouse Terrorist -- Accomplice to the Crime
by NANCY HARTEVELT KOBRIN, PHD
March 23, 2012
It should come as no surprise that the mother of the Toulouse Al Qaeda killer, Muhammad Merah, who is described as a French citizen of Algerian descent, was brought to the scene by the police in order to negotiate with her son. She refused to help, claiming that she had "no control over her son" according to a French 24 broadcast. It is my hope that she will change her mind and cooperate with the police. If not, she should be brought up on charges for being an accomplice to the horrific crimes committed by her son. Her other son has also been arrested.
I have written extensively about the disturbing maternal bond laying at the base of Islamic political violence ranging from suicide bombing, to stabbings, to rocket attacks on southern Israel to the DC serial killer converts to Islam John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo the Beltway snipers, who murdered over a three week period in October 2002. The mother looms larger than life in the mind of these sociopathic murderers. The Toulouse terrorist even filmed his horrific attacks.
His mother is, however, nothing more than a hated devalued female to him. He feels emasculated and suffocated by her and develops paranoia, projecting his rage outwards under the phony guise of revenge for Palestinian children, and under the phony guise of the political violence of Islamic terrorism. Hence, he murders defenseless children in cold blood and films them as they die. Such killers obviously lack a shred of empathy but the public, the military, law enforcement and especially the media which mass mediates the terrorism, remain less aware that empathy is something which is developed early on in the bonding between mother and infant. It is very hard to develop empathy later, but not impossible.
The leading French Al Qaeda expert Jean-Charles Brisard endorsed my descriptive analysis of this failed mother bonding and dysfunctional family dynamics in The Banality of Suicide Terrorism. Icorresponded with Brisard when he served as expert witness in the Christian Ganczarski trial, the Al Qaeda operative that provided extensive support for the Djerba Synagogue bombing in April 2002. Ganczarski also had a disturbed childhood.
I have repeatedly come out against blaming the mother or the female with regard to my theory but stepping outside the frame of theorizing and analyzing, given the fact that the Toulouse Terrorist's mother will not cooperate with law enforcement, she is collaborating with her son. Her oppositional behavior is what Tawfik Hamid, former Islamic extremist and Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism, calls passive terrorism. Hamid also endorsed my book. By not assisting the police she has crossed the line of being able to hide behind her devalued abused/traumatized status to that of willfully revealing herself as a terrorist. Hence, she should be prosecuted as such if she does not help.
As this is a developing story, I do not know how the standoff will end [editor’s note: the suspect was shot dead after police raided his apartment to end a 32-hour standoff]. However, what we must take away from this tragedy is that such wanton killing links back to a failed maternal bonding. To minimize the meaning of the importance of the female/mother in the life of a terrorist merely takes their bait. We therefore run the risk of unconsciously colluding with them, and we fail to understand how and why they do what they do. This only further compounds the dilemma, running the risk of more innocent victims and further delaying effective solutions to this critical problem.