Jihadist group claims tie to French killings



PARIS (AP) — The SITE Intelligence Group is reporting that a lesser-known jihadist group is claiming responsibility for three shootings in southern France that left seven people dead.

The reported claim Thursday by Jund al-Khilafah, a group that has also claimed past attacks in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, comes after Mohamed Merah — the leading suspect — died after a firefight with French police.

SITE, which monitors jihadist messages on the Internet, said the group issued a statement in jihadist forums saying “Yusuf of France” led an attack Monday, the day of shootings that killed a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse.

French police say Merah, 23, had bragged to them that he carried out the seven slayings to “bring France to its knees.”