After Paris attacks, questions about comprehension failures

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French confidence services are expected to face heated vigour to explain how famous militants — including one lerned by an al-Qaeda associate in Yemen — faced no apparent inspection before they launched this week’s belligerent attacks in Paris, including a daytime conflict on a a satirical newspaper, a long-declared Islamist target.

The hunt for answers is expected to concentration on a three-year duration preceding this week’s sharpened during that dual of a purported gunmen, Said and Chérif Kouachi, clearly forsaken out of a perspective of French comprehension services as good as their U.S. counterparts.

U.S. counterterrorism officials pronounced they have spent a days given a conflict on a journal Charlie Hebdo scouring databases confirmed by a CIA and National Security Agency, among others, for clues to either the Kouachis kept in communication with al-Qaeda in a Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) during what one central described as a “dark period” in a decade-long chronology.

Chérif Kouachi, vocalization to a French publisher shortly before he was killed by confidence army Friday, pronounced he and his hermit were behaving on interest of “al-Qaeda in Yemen,” and that a U.S.-born apportion and user Anwar al-Awlaki had played a purpose in a training perceived by Said Kouachi during his outing to Yemen in 2011.

A member of AQAP pronounced in a matter that the organisation destined a Paris attack, yet U.S. comprehension officials pronounced they had found no justification to support a claim. They pronounced a Yemeni group, that has been overshadowed in a past year by a Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, might simply have seized on a event to associate itself with a attack.


(The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

But confidence officials pronounced a Paris conflict has lifted stress over regard over a re-emergence of AQAP.

A comparison U.S. central remarkable that some-more than 3,000 European citizens, including during slightest 1,000 from France, have flocked to Syria to quarrel with a Islamic State and other belligerent groups. Some have returned to Europe and could maybe go for years but sketch courtesy — many as a Kouachis did — before it is transparent either they poise a threat.

“They are intensity time bombs,” a central said.

If so, a compound heading adult to a Paris conflict mostly seemed to bake in plain view.

The target, Charlie Hebdo, had prolonged been in a sights of Islamist groups hurt by a publication’s derisive of Islam. Its offices had been firebombed in 2011, and it was listed among AQAP’s priority targets final year in a group’s “Inspire” magazine.

The Kouachis had been underneath a inspection of French authorities during slightest as early as 2005, when a younger brother, Chérif, was arrested as he attempted to leave for Syria as partial of an purported devise to join insurgents in Iraq. He also seemed in a French radio documentary on jihadist networks.

During 3 years in detention, French officials said, Chérif Kouachi became proficient with another radical, Djamel Beghal, indicted of formulation an conflict on a U.S. Embassy in Paris. Kouachi was expelled in 2008.

Three years later, Said Kouachi trafficked to Yemen, apparently to find training from AQAP, a organisation that had already set in suit a array of plots, including a unsuccessful try to blow adult a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day, 2009, with a explosve sewn into an operative’s underwear.

The brothers had also flush on counterterrorism screens in a United States. Lauren C. Anderson, a FBI’s tip representative in Paris when Chérif Kouachi was arrested in early 2005, pronounced he and others were placed on U.S. counterterrorism databases shortly afterwards.

“There were indications they were perplexing to go to Syria to get into Iraq,” pronounced Anderson, who after destined FBI counterterrorism operations in New York. “That’s how they got on a no-fly list.”

That list would also expected have stirred a NSA and other view agencies to scour U.S. comprehension databases for intercepted communications or other comprehension fragments joining Chérif Kouachi to belligerent groups.

U.S. officials pronounced they are also seeking to establish either a comparison Kouachi met with Awlaki in 2011. Officials pronounced they see that as trustworthy given Awlaki was in assign of AQAP’s outmost operations and presumably would have been acutely meddlesome in a partisan from Europe. But they have unclosed no justification of such an encounter.

Awlaki was killed in a CIA worker strike shortly after Kouachi’s lapse to France, lifting conjecture that a cleric’s genocide might comment for a brothers’ extended duration of loitering — that they suspended skeleton or cut off communications with AQAP as partial of a broader bid to say a reduce profile.

Either way, a brothers seem to have faced abating levels of inspection from French confidence services that over a past dual years have turn increasingly consumed with tracking an exodus of French adults to Syria.

France is widely seen as a many assertive nation in Europe in a notice of Islamists, as good as a eagerness to seize a possess citizens’ passports and take other measures to forestall them from vacating for Syria’s polite war.

But even before this week’s attack, France has been during a core of a array of apparent confidence lapses.

Last year, French citizen Mehdi Nemouche killed 4 people in a sharpened during a Jewish museum in Brussels, even yet French authorities knew he had left to quarrel in Syria and had been told by German officials that he had returned to Europe.

In 2012, a French national, Mohammed Merah, killed 3 Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and 3 French soldiers in a array of shootings in southwestern France. He had been on a U.S. no-fly list given 2010 after he was incarcerated in Afghanistan and sent behind to France, where he had a rapist record and was famous for his nonconformist views.

Merah was killed in a shootout with French commandos in Toulouse on Mar 22, 2012. At a time, a French interior minister, asked if a confidence services could have finished more, pronounced that “expressing opinions, display Salafist opinions” — a anxiety to a fundamentalist aria of Islam — “is not adequate to move someone before justice.”

Julie Tate and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.

Our full coverage of France shooting:

-French military finish twin standoffs, murdering suspects and an associate

-In a kosher grocery store in Paris, apprehension takes a lethal toll

-Attack think was famous to French authorities

- Official: Suspect suspicion to have met with Anwar al-Awlaki

-Live blog: Latest updates from dual standoffs

- Hostake holding pronounced to be related to sharpened of a policewoman

- Shooting suspects attempted to accommodate with al-Qaeda

- Map: Tracking a manhunt for a shooters

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