Merah seems to be motivated by his reaction to the political traumas of the religious community that he subscribed to. His zeal seems to be against occupation and humiliation, not godlessness or impiety.
How might this tragedy affect the upcoming presidential election? The question is now whether the cursor of the presidential campaign has moved permanently (or only temporarily) from unemployment and economic issues to security, an issue that is always a handicap to the left.
One judges not only a man, but a country by this type of reaction, by its capacity for revulsion when confronted with an eruption of horror. A moment of grace. The beauty of a commonly-shared sorrow. The prerogative of a great people.
Let us not turn our rage, our fear and our violence against those "others" who have bloody streaks amid their wisdom, while pretending there are no such streaks amid our own. Shalom, salaam, solh -- Peace!