So what do we know about Mohammed Mehra, the 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian extraction who killed three French paratroopers and four Jews in Toulouse?

According to various reports, here are some interesting bits of information about his psychological profile:

He was arrested 15 times as a youth, and spent a full year in a juvenile penitentiary.

He was prone to serious violence as a youth. As a young adult, he traveled to the most dangerous place on earth, the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, to be trained in combat by some of the most violent and despicable people in the world.

He said he was a Salafi and a member of al-Qaida. Both of these ‘groupings’ are pretty much as extreme as you can get.

French prosecutors say he had a mental illness as a child.

When French anti-terror police brought his mother to the house he was holed up in, she said she could not talk to him because she “has no influence on him.”

He liked to watch videos of beheadings on the internet.

His friends and neighbors were shocked when they heard about what he’d done. Several of them told French media that he was a “normal, smiling youngster.”

He filmed his murderous rampage at the Ozar Hatorah school, and was apparently preparing to upload the video online.

He chased down a little 8-year-old girl, Miriam Monsenego, caught her by the hair, and tried to shoot her in the head, but his handgun jammed. So he changed guns and put a bullet in her head, all the while holding Miriam [who must have been crying and begging hysterically].

After the attack on the school, he called the France 24 TV station to gloat. He wanted fame. He wanted recognition.

Put all this together and you have a profile of a very disturbed young man who wanted to be, and to be seen to be, extremely tough and virile. He told French police that he “does not have the soul of a martyr” i.e. that he prefers to kill but stay alive. He is scared of death.

Let’s see how the standoff resolves itself.