The mainstream media for the most part has moved on. But there are a few more gleanings to be had, of perhaps the most interesting comes from the Daily Mirror, which labels al-Hilli an extremist on the grounds that he was against the war in Iraq, disapproved of the behaviour of Israel and had doubts over 9/11 – which makes a great deal of the population “extremist”. But the Mirror has the only mainstream mention I can find of the possibility that Mossad carried out the killings. Given Mr al-Hilli’s profession, the fact he is a Shia, the fact he had visited Iran, and the fact that Israel heas been assassinating scientists connected to Iran’s nuclear programme, this has to be a possibility. There are of course other possibilities, but to ignore that one is ludicrous.
Which leads me to the argument of Daily Mail crime reporter, Stephen Wright, that the French police should concentrate on the idea that this was a killing by a random Alpine madman or racist bigot. Perfectly possible, of course, and the anti-Muslim killings in Marseille might be as much a precedent as Mossad killings of scientists. But why the lone madman idea should be the preferred investigation, Mr Wright does not explain. What I did find interesting from a man who has visited many crime scenes are his repeated insinuations that the French authorities are not really trying very hard to find who the killers were, for example:
the crime scene would have been sealed off for a minimum of seven to ten days, to allow detailed forensic searches for DNA, fibres, tyre marks and shoe prints to take place.
Nearby bushes and vegetation would have been searched for any discarded food and cigarette butts left by the killer, not to mention the murder weapon.
But from what I saw at the end of last week, no such searches had taken place and potentially vital evidence could have been missed. House to house inquiries in the local area had yet to be completed and police had not made specific public appeals for information about the crime. No reward had been put up for information about the shootings.
Behind the scenes, what other short cuts have been taken? Have police seized data identifying all mobile phones being used in the vicinity of the murders that day?
The idea that the French authorities – who are quite as capable as any other of solving cases – are not really trying very hard is an interesting one.
Which leads me to this part of a remarkable article from the Daily Telegraph, which if true points us back towards a hit squad and discounts the ides that there was only one gun:
Claims that only one gun was used to kill everybody is likely to be disproved by full ballistics test results which are out in October.
While the 25 spent bullet cartridges found at the scene are all of the same kind, they could in fact have come from a number of weapons of the same make.
This throws up the possibility of a well-equipped, highly-trained gang circling the car and then opening fire.
Both children were left alive by the killers, who had clinically pumped bullets into everybody else, including five into Mr Mollier.
Zainab was found staggering around outside the car by Brett Martin, a British former RAF serviceman who cycled by moments after the attack, but he saw nobody except the schoolgirl.
Her sister, Zeena, was found unscathed and hiding in the car eight hours later.
Both sisters are now back in Britain, and are believed to have been reunited at a secret location near London.
There are of course a number of hit squad options, both governmental and private, which might well involve iraqi or Iranian interests – on both of which the mainstream media have been very happy to speculate while almost unanimously ignoring Israel.
But what interests me is why the Daily Telegraph choose, in the face of all the evidence, to minimise the horrific nature of the attack by stating that “Both children were left alive by the killers”? Zainab was not left alive by design, she was shot in the chest and her skull was stove in, which presumably was a pretty serious attempt to kill a seven year-old child. The other girl might very well have succeeded in hiding from the killers under her mother’s skirts, as she hid from the first rescuers, and then for eight hours from the police.
The Telegraph article claims to be informed by sources close to the investigation. So they believe it was a group of people, and feel motivated to absolve those people from child-killing. Now what could the Daily Telegraph be thinking?