NEWS

Multiple French Intelligence Failings Prior To Paris Attacks, Investigators Call for New Counter Terrorism Agency

The series of attacks killed 147 people.

05/07/2016 14:07

There were multiple intelligence failings prior to the attacks in Paris last year, a French parliamentary investigation has found.

Lawmakers have urged for there to be the creation of a US-style counterterrorism agency in order to prevent further violence, which resulted in the deaths of 147 people.

All the extremists involved in the 2015 attacks, which targeted the Charlie Hebdo offices, a kosher market, the national stadium, Parisian cafes and the Bataclan concert hall, had been previously flagged to authorities, the leader of the investigation commission found.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
French investigators reveal that there were multiple intelligence failings ahead of last year's series of Paris attacks.

Some of the attackers had past convictions, or were under judicial surveillance when they attacked, conservative legislator Georges Fenech said.

Intelligence authorities questioned in the parliamentary inquiry acknowledged failures, Fenech said.

He blamed a multi-layered, cumbersome intelligence apparatus, saying France is trying to fight terrorism with "lead boots", the Associated Press reports.

He and the lawmaker presenting the report, Socialist Sebastien Pietrasanta, recommended creating a national counterterrorism agency like that created in the US after the September 11 attacks.

Pietrasanta said that the attack that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida, shows that "there is no zero risk" and said France remains under threat even if it overhauls its intelligence services.

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Paris attacks: Bataclan theatre scene

The parliamentary report is based on six months of interviews with nearly 200 people and visits to Turkey, Greece, Belgium and Europol police agency headquarters in The Hague.

It was aimed at studying what happened before, after and during the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market, which killed 17 people, and the November attacks on the Bataclan, stadium and cafes, which killed 130.

The inquiry also found failures in European security coordination and communication.

"Europe is not up to the task" of fighting terrorism, Pietrasanta said.

The lawmakers also criticised security measures put in place after the attacks as ineffective, and accused Belgian authorities of being slow to stop fugitive November attacker Salah Abdeslam.

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