Al Jazeera has announced that it will not broadcast the video Mohamed Merah filmed of himself killing seven people during France's worst terrorist attacks by an extreme Islamist in years.
According to the Qatar-based news network, the video did not meet Al Jazeera's code of standards for broadcast, and did not add any information that was not already known to the public.
The video, titled "Al Qaeda Attacks France," was delivered to Al Jazeera's Paris bureau last Wednesday in the form of a USB stick.
According to Zied Tarrouche, Al Jazeera's Paris bureau chief, the film was built into a montage showing clips of each murder in chronological order with a "mixture of religious music and chants, lectures, and recitals of verses from the Quran" in the background.
"You hear the voice of the person who carried out the killings. You also hear the victims' cries," Tarrouche said. "My feelings are those of any human being who sees horrible things."
Along with the delivered USB was a letter that claimed the attacks were carried out in the name of al Qaeda.
During the 32-hour police siege outside Merah's apartment in the southern city of Toulouse, the killer confessed to filming the murders. Witnesses also told French police that Merah appeared to have been wearing some sort of chest harness that held a video camera during the killings.
But because the video was delivered on Wednesday, while Merah was under siege, French officials have been led to believe that accomplices must exist.
As of now, the most probable suspect is Merah's brother, Abdelkader, who helped smuggled jihadist militants into Iraq in 2007.
Abdelkader remains in jail for an inquiry which could last for months before a formal decision is taken for whether he will be placed on trial.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the families of the victims all urged Al Jazeera not to broadcast the videos.
"I call on all managers of all channels not to broadcast them under any pretext, out of respect for the victims and respect for the republic," said Sarkozy.
The mother of a Muslim victim and family of a Jewish victim pleaded the same, the Jewish family going as far as declaring they would sue the network.
"We will use all judicial means possible to prevent any broadcast," the family's lawyer Patrick Klugman told Agence France Presse.
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also urged the network not to show the video in fear that the graphic footage would incite violence in individuals already prone to such behavior.
Despite Al Jazeera's acceptance of the pleas to not broadcast the video, there remains the possibility that one of Merah's accomplices could still distribute the footage over the internet.
Merah, before dying in the siege, declared that "all had been filmed and could be on the Web soon," the Paris newspaper Le Figaro quoted him as saying.
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