Al Jazeera pledges not to broadcast shootings footage

Al Jazeera said it would not broadcast video footage shot by Mohammed Merah during his attacks on soldiers and on a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Al Jazeera also said it was declining all requests from other media outlets for copies of the footage.

Earlier in the day, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had called on television networks “that might have these images” not to broadcast the footage “out of respect for the victims — out of respect for the Republic.”

The edited footage was sent on a USB flash drive to al Jazeera in Paris. Al Jazeera sent the drive to police, Reuters reported.

The package reportedly was mailed to al Jazeera on March 21, the day that police began their siege of Merah’s Toulouse apartment. Merah was killed following a 30-hour standoff when police stormed his apartment.

A letter accompanying the footage said that Merah had acted on behalf of al Qaida, the Associated Press reported.

Merah had confessed during the standoff that he killed the three soldiers and the four people at the Ozar Hatorah school — a rabbi and his two young sons, and the daughter of the school’s principal.

Meanwhile, preliminary murder and terrorism charges were filed March 25 against his brother, Abdelkader Merah, 30, a suspected accomplice in the attacks. — jta