Paris: The gang that killed a Jew has been nabbed

Folks, I don’t know if you have been following this story out of Paris, from Ynet. Here’s an excerpt:

Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian man, was found tied to tree, naked, wounded, with burns covering his body; Police arrested 13 suspects, and say the murderous act not motivated by anti-Semitism.

Police officials said that the abduction and murder were apparently not motivated by anti-Semitism, but added that they have not yet discovered what led the group to commit the acts.

Folks, the police say it is not anti-Semitism, yet the last sentence in the article reads:

“We think there is anti-Semitism in this affair,” Rafi, Ilan’s brother-in-law, told the European Jewish Press. ”First because the killers tried to kidnap at least two other Jews, and secondly because of what they said on the phone.”

”When we said we didn’t have Euro 500,000 to give them, they answered we should go to the synagogue and get it,” Rafi stressed.

“They also recited verses from the Koran. We didn’t know what they were saying but the police told us,” he said.

Did you catch that? “The police told us”, said Ilans’ brother-in-law. So either the police did tell the grieving family that the crime was motivated by anti-Semitism, or it wasn’t.

Well, more details on this murder are pouring in. From Anti-Semitism Alleged in French Torture-Killing:

An investigative magistrate in France ruled Monday that some of the seven suspects who kidnapped Ilan Halimi, a Jewish store clerk, tortured him for more than three weeks, and killed him last week, would face hate-crime charges in addition to kidnapping and murder charges. France’s Jewish community held an angry street protest Sunday and accused politicians of minimizing the crime to avoid increasing tension that lingers from riots by predominantly Muslim youths last year.

The kidnappers, who called themselves “The Barbarians,” beat, burned, and mutilated Halimi during 24 days of captivity in a cellar in Bagneux, southwest of the capital. The gang taunted Halimi’s family and a rabbi with anti-Semitic epithets and recited Koranic verses during telephone calls and e-mails demanding wildly diverging amounts of ransom that never were collected. The kidnappers also sent photos of the victim with a gun to his head, bound and blindfolded, mimicking images of hostages in Iraq.

“This gang massacred this young man. They cut off ears and fingers. It was like they had a trophy, a Jewish kid, and everybody abused him,” said Sammy Ghozlan, a Jewish leader who is a retired police chief. “If Ilan hadn’t been Jewish, he wouldn’t have been murdered,” Halimi’s mother, Ruth, told Ha’aretz.

To eliminate futher doubt, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Tuesday told the French parliament that the abduction, torture, and killing of a young Jewish man was an anti-Semitic crime and that the gang had also tried to kidnap four other Jews. The police found literature linking some of the suspects to Palestinian and Muslim groups.

Here is more information on the life and death of Ilan Halimi.