A French couple were today facing prosecution for naming their newborn baby after al-Qaeda murderer Mohammed Merah.

The husband and wife, who have not been identified, live in the southern city of Nice, which was devastated by the ISIS-linked Bastille Day terror attack in July.

Despite this, they want to name their son ‘Mohammed Nizar Merah’, after a 23-year-old jihadist who gunned down seven people in the Toulouse area in 2012.

The terrorist targeted Jewish children and Muslim soldiers, before he too was shot dead in his council flat by police.

The Jihadi threat has escalated considerably since then, and community leaders in Nice are deeply concerned by the child’s provocative name.

Now Jean-Michel Pretre, the Nice Prosecutor, has to decide whether the parents are breaking the law by apparently showing their support for terrorism.

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It also has to be decided whether the child can keep the name, with Mr Pretre saying: ‘What counts is the interests of the child. More than fifteen years ago it was possible to ban certain names. Now, all first names are possible, except when they threaten the child.’

Officials at Nice City Hall made the original legal complaint to the prosecutor, with a spokesman saying that the name Mohammed Merah ‘could be against the interests of the child’ and amounted to an ‘apology for terrorism’.

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