Report: Toulouse gunman had visited Israel

French gunman Mohamed Merah, who killed three soldiers and four Jews in France in the past two weeks, had been on a trip to Israel, France's Le Monde newspaper reported Thursday.

According to the report, Merah's passport had Israeli stamps in it. The purpose of his visit is not know, but analysts suspect he was either trying to visit the Palestinian territories or do reconnaissance plan a terror attack.

Based on the stamps in his passports, Merah also visited Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Afghanistan.

The 23-year-old gunman who said al-Qaida inspired him to kill seven people in France died from a gunshot wound to the head on Thursday as he scrambled out of a ground-floor window during a gunbattle with elite police commandos.

Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, died in a hail of bullets at the end of a 30-hour standoff with police at his apartment in southern France and after confessing to killing three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi.


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