Feeds

Cybercops traced Toulouse massacre suspect through IP address

Slain soldier's ad for motorcycle had key role in manhunt

Security for virtualized datacentres

The IP address of a computer used to view a motorbike sales ad posted by an early victim of the Toulouse gunman played a vital role in narrowing down Mohamed Merah as the main suspect in a series of attacks that have horrified France, it has emerged.

French soldier Imad Ibn-Ziaten posted a video of the motorbike he wanted to sell online. The paratrooper was killed on 11 March after he invited someone who posed as a prospective buyer to his house.

Le Monde reports (Google translation here) that the ad was viewed by about 500 people. Cyber police narrowed down the list of likely suspects to those who lived in and around Toulouse in south-west France. This search was intensified after Ibn-Ziaten's assassination was linked to the slaughter of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday, 19 March.

In addition, Le Monde added, a motorcycle dealer had reported a suspicious conversation with someone who wanted to know whether it was possible to remove an anti-theft tracking device from a Yamaha scooter just days before the vehicle was stolen on 6 March and before the first attacks against French soldiers. The twin strands of evidence allowed police to compile a shortlist of suspects.

Merah was already under surveillance by French authorities and the use of an IP address, which was linked to his brother's house, to view Ibn-Ziaten's motorcycle video made him a prime suspect in the case.

In the early hours of Wednesday a French anti-terrorist unit surrounded a block of flats where the reportedly heavily armed Mohamed Merah lived, leading to a siege that ended after police stormed his flat on Thursday morning. Merah jumped out of a window while firing back at cops and was subsequently found dead on the ground. It is as yet unclear whether the fall or police snipers killed him.

During the firefight, Merah reportedly proclaimed allegiance to al Qaida and admitted responsibility for shooting dead of three French soldiers in two ambushes last week as well as the attack on the Jewish school. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.