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Paris terror attacks: French Inquiry commission recommends intelligence overhaul

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Paris: A French inquiry into the terror attacks that rocked Paris in 2015 on Tuesday recommended the fusion of the country's intelligence services after the "global failure" of the country's myriad agencies.

Representative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

The parliamentary inquiry was set up in February to probe possible security failings in the run-up to two major terror attacks in Paris in 2015 that left 147 people dead.

"The two big intelligence bosses admitted during their hearings that the 2015 attacks represent a 'global
intelligence failure'," said Socialist lawmaker Sebastien Pietrasanta.

The president of the commission of the inquiry, Georges Fenech, said that the barriers between different intelligence services led to the surveillance of Charlie Hebdo attacker Said Kouachi being lifted.

The next time he was heard of was when he and his brother Cherif attacked the satirical weekly in Paris on 7 January, killing 12 people.

Amedy Coulibaly, an ally of the brothers who took shoppers hostage at a Jewish supermarket two days later, killing four, and who also shot dead a policewoman, was also an example of intelligence failings within the prison system, the inquiry found.

Fenech recommended the establishment of a single "national anti-terrorism agency."

"Faced with the threat of international terrorism we need to be much more ambitious... in terms of intelligence," he said.

"Our country was not ready, now we must get ready," he told AFP.

Pietrasanta said that the intervention of security forces on the night of November 13 -- when a team of Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers struck bars, restaurants, the national stadium and Bataclan concert hall, killing 130 -- had been "fast, effective and showed they were capable of working together."

However, he questioned the merits of having three different specialised units, the paramilitary intervention group GIGN, the police unit RAID and another elite police force specialising in hostage situations, the BRI.

Pietrasanta said that even though there had been threats made against the Bataclan concert, where 90 people were massacred, the attack there could not have been avoided.

"Thwarting the attacks would have presumed that investigators and intelligence agents had kept in mind all the targets mentioned by terrorists during their hearings," he said.

First Published On : Jul 5, 2016 15:03 IST

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