Terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels might have been prevented
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    Terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels might have been prevented

    French report criticizes lack of cooperation between intelligence agencies. A French parliamentary committee issued yesterday (5 July) a preliminary report on the lack of cooperation between intelligence agencies in France and between national agencies. It called for the creation of a central intelligence agency in France.

    As regards sharing intelligence between national intelligence agencies the report confirms earlier media reporting.

    According to International New York Times (6 July), Greek authorities had tracked down Abdelhamid Abaaoud in Athens and had alerted Belgium, where he was wanted, in January 2015.

    But Belgium, after a police raid in Verviers in January 2015, where Abaaoud’s accomplices were hiding, failed to notify Greece in time and Abaaoud got away.  Abbaoud is considered to be the organizer of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and was killed in a police raid there a few days after the attacks.

    Another failure on part of the Belgian police concerns Salah Abdeslam, who is thought to be the only surviving terrorist from the Paris attacks, and who was arrested in Brussels after a man-hunt which lasted four months. The arrest took place just a few days before the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

    Fleeing from the Paris attacks, Abdeslam was stopped by French police near the Belgian border but waved through. The Belgian authorities had not flagged him as a militant in a database they shared with the French police.

    After having been treated with kid gloves by the Belgian authorities, Abdeslam was extradited to France, where he so far has refused to answer any questions, reports the newspaper.

    “Clearly, Europe is not up to the task in the fight against terrorism, even if progress has been made in the past months,” said one of the members of the French investigation committee.

    The committee, which did not have access to classified documents, will publish its full report on July 12.

    The Brussels Times