THE ATTEMPTED SALE OF A MOTORCYCLE helped track down Mohamed Merah, the main suspect in the recent shootings in the city of Toulouse and town of Montauban in France.
Merah was identified by his internet protocol (IP) address and was found after investigators traced him back to a posting about a motorbike for sale on a web site apparently used by a small number of people.
French newspaper Le Monde reports Merah's first victim was a motorcycle seller, a French soldier called Imad Ibn-Ziaten. He was shot at his house when he met the prospective motorcycle buyer.
Police started to look through the communications between the two men after the murder, and using that information were able to find an IP address and then ultimately a physical address that identified Merah's brother.
The investigation was confirmed by French Interior Minister Claude Guéant, who said during a press conference, "After Ibn-Ziaten's murder, police detectives looked through the communications he received from persons interested in buying his motorcycle."
Working from the address, investigators were able to add Merah to a short list of suspects. µ