The investigation into the Paris attacks that occurred in 2015 issued its report Tuesday and cited “multiple” failures by French intelligence agencies, both before and after the deadly terrorist attacks. The report stated that all of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks, including the attacks on Charlie Hedbo, the kosher market, the national stadium, Parisian cafes, and the Bataclan concert hall, had been flagged to authorities, and according to Fox News, some were even under judicial surveillance when they carried out their plans.
French lawmakers call for US-style counterterrorism agency https://t.co/UCY9Oup74U
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 5, 2016
One of the recommendations made by the lawmakers who presented the report was that France creates a national counterterrorism unit like the one created in the United States after the 9/11 attacks. The report’s goal was to study what happened before, during, and after the Paris attacks that killed 147 people in total. Fox News reports that the investigation conducted six months of interviews with more than 200 people in several countries to get a full picture of what went wrong.
According to Fox News, the report outlines more than one area that lapsed in these attacks. They cite the fact that the only surviving terrorist from the November attacks should not have been able to escape to Belgium where he was on their radar. The commission also pointed out that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, one of the people that played a key role in the attacks, was a known radical and managed to slip across European borders.
ABC News reports that the commission did acknowledge that rival units of security forces had their hands tied by rules and that stepping on each other’s feet only made the problem worse. The commission said outright that the attack at the Bataclan could have been prevented “were it not for these failures.” The commission’s report included 40 recommendations including “preventing those convicted of terror-linked crimes from receiving a reduction of their sentences and creating a special unit within Europol, the European police, working non-stop to record hits of potential extremists from member states.”
Other suggestions involved having Europol agents in hotspots like Greece to better supervise the large number of migrants and working towards a more secure Turkey/Syria border. The report did not go far enough for the victims of the Paris attacks according to The Globe and Mail, with their spokesman, Stephane Gicquel, saying that these are just wishes, and there is no plan to actually implement any of these changes.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 6, 2016
In related news, Yahoo reported that Belgium handed over two suspects who are believed to have helped one of the men involved in the November 13 Paris attack escape to Belgium. Mohamed Amri and Ali Oulkadi reportedly helped Abdeslam immediately after the attacks took place. Hamza Attou has already been extradited to France and is also suspected of helping Abdeslam.
It is believed that Amri and Attou are the ones that drove Abdeslam to Brussels, past three French police checkpoints right after the attacks took place. Oulkadi is then alleged to have taken the man across Brussels to the place he was eventually captured four months later. Abdeslam was extradited to France in April.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 6, 2016
On Tuesday, 13 Belgian Islamic State members were sentenced to between eight and 16 years in prison by a Brussels court. All 13 members of the “Verviers Cell” were linked to both the Charlie Hedbo attack and the November 13 attacks in Paris according to The Daily Caller. Nine of the suspects are still at large and were sentenced in absentia.
The Huffington Post reported that the brother of one of the Paris attackers was sentenced on Wednesday to nine years in prison for traveling to Syria to train as a militant fighter. Karim Mohammed-Aggad is the brother of Foued, one of the attackers who died at the Bataclan rock concert hall after killing and wounding numerous people. Karim and six others were charged for a trip that took place in December 2013.
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