French police say terror suspect was inspired by killings at a Toulouse Jewish school

(JTA) — French police say a man suspected of planning a thwarted attack on a nursery school was inspired by Islamist radical Mohammed Merah, who killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.

The man arrested last week in the Seine-et-Marne region near Paris described himself as the “heir of Mohammed Merah.” He reportedly had been planning an attack on children at a nursery school, and had already selected the school, BFM TV reported.

The man, who was known to French intelligence services, was charged on March 29 with planning a terror attack and remains in police custody.

Merah killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and two of his children as well as another girl in March 2012 at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse. Days earlier, Merah killed three French soldiers in two attacks in the suburb of Montauban, France. He was killed in a shootout with police in his Toulouse apartment where he hid after the school killings, which he said in a video he perpetrated as part of jihad and to avenge the suffering of Palestinian children.