Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Report on terrorism: “There were flaws in our intelligence services” – Le Monde

Georges Fenech (l.) and Sébastien  Pietrasanta (r.), Chairman and Rapporteur of the  parliamentary commission of inquiry on the attacks  in January and November 2015, to the National  Assembly on 20 June.

at the end of your investigation, are you able to say whether the attacks of 13 November 2015 could have been avoided

Sébastien Pietrasanta: It’s always easy to rewrite story when you know the end. Recall that even the United States could not avoid the terrible attack of Orlando, despite the immense resources they have. But it is certain that the judicial review of Samy Amimour [a terrorist Bataclan] should have been much stricter, and we do not understand why his supervision ceased from the moment he was indicted in 2012 as part of a starting project in Yemen. Similarly, Abdelhamid Abaaoud [terraces commando] should have been arrested in Greece in January 2015 but the Belgians have not warned the Greeks in time of Verviers dragnet of 15 January, which allowed Abaaoud to flee Athens

Fenech. There were flaws in our intelligence services, the three attackers were all archiconnus Bataclan, like Kouachi brothers [perpetrators of the attack against Charlie Hebdo ]. Our role is not to apportion blame, but to make a statement, objective, that is: it is essential to review all. We are on drawings dating from the 1980s, at a time when terrorism was not what it is today. It takes a much larger ambition, to streamline our information and coordinate truly at European level.

What are the greatest weaknesses of our services?

S. P: The flaw relates in part to the question of prison intelligence. It is not fault, right and left, have repeatedly proposed to incorporate in the second circle of the intelligence community, which was finally done in the reform law of criminal procedure . But we lost too much time! Prison intelligence was not up to the challenge, and now he must gaining momentum extremely quickly.

G. F . In May 2016, we auditioned Jean-Jacques Urvoas who has said that since his appointment as Minister of Justice, he had been the recipient of any element on intelligence prison despite a workforce of 380 people. He even complained that the system was still “failed, ineffective and did not raise issues regarding radicalization in prison,” . We have the texts of laws, legal and technical means, but it takes the administration seizes.

The laws against terrorism and intelligence, adopted in 2014 and 2015, so were not sufficient?

S. P: The intelligence law allowed an upgrade, and the problem does not today on technical intelligence. As for the law against terrorism, which I was the rapporteur, the first goal was to take account of departures and returns to Syria and Iraq, and especially to curb their numbers with territory exit ban .

G. F . We just have a disagreement on the legislative arsenal, about penal policy. I support firmer devices against jihadists returning to France, and I propose to go further in terms of administrative detention, house arrest and electronic bracelet.

Read also: Attacks: commission of inquiry proposes a complete overhaul of intelligence

the report also calls to drop in two to three years the Sentinel military operation deployed on the territory in the wake of the January 2015 …

S. P: The implementation of Sentinel was good because it then had a strong response from the state. But it is not sustainable over time, the military is out of breath, we must gradually reduce the numbers of Sentinel, while recruiting police officers and gendarmes. Furthermore, the Bataclan testimonies interrogated us.

G. F . When the officers of the BAC [anti-crime brigade] arrived on the scene, there were still shots inside and outside. They tried to counter, but they had only handguns. Eight military strength of the Sentinel were present, armed with Famas [assault rifle] in which the LAC asked to draw, but they said they had no order to do so. And when the LAC asked to lend their Famas directly, they refused too. It should have been there an order or whether in self-defense for the military to open fire. That is why there is currently a reflection on coordination between intervention forces and military forces so that there is a single command.

In contrast you propose to intervene more heavily in Iraq, including ground. The defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and leaders of armies you have auditioned they are on the same line?

S. P: All leaders have told us that we should not do it and everyone we met in the field tell us that it will take sometime to go. Although the international coalition air strikes began to weaken the organization Islamic State (EI), I ask myself two questions: how long and shelling will he to eradicate EI, and what the response of State tomorrow if a new “Bataclan”? Finally, aerial bombardments have limits, particularly in urban areas. It is no absolutely not to have an army of occupation, we will not repeat the mistakes the Americans. But at the request of the Iraqi government, we propose to consider ground troops in a limited time, to support local forces.

Did he also had Y shortcomings at European level?

S. P: Personally, I consider that Europe is not at the height of the fight against terrorism. We went to Turkey, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, and found that Eurojust [the European agency to strengthen judicial cooperation between Member States] has made good progress particularly on joint investigations. At the November attacks, for the first time, we used to Europol [the intelligence agency] in operational matters: they came and telephone data analyzed with the task force “Brotherhood.” Europol has demonstrated its usefulness and role, but this European agency is not sufficiently equipped or up to the challenge. And on the border issue, it was not until December 2015 that Europol has decided to send an officer to Frontex [the European agency for border surveillance] on terrorism matters. As for the PNR [file which will combine the data of air passengers in Europe] is a good thing but if we do not match biometric measures, its usefulness will be limited.

Many your proposals cost money (police recruitment, training, procurement of weapons and ammunition …). Have you costed this?

S. P: No, but we can not say “France is at war” and does not allocate sufficient resources. We realize that all this has a cost, but it is the responsibility of governments to bring us to the safety height.

G. F: Do you know how much, in total, the fight against terrorism has cost the United States? This is inchiffrable, it is in the thousands of billions of dollars.

Your work have they led you to reflect on the very form of the inquiry?

S. P: Yes, and we intend to talk to the President of the Assembly, Claude Bartolone. Thirty deputies in a commission of inquiry is too much, we think we should reduce the number. Some MPs have come too infrequently and therefore clearly were not at. It also requires us to have more powers, not to face the defense secret, longer than the maximum of six months provided and more resources, especially human: the United States, the National Commission on September 11 . had 80 directors, three of us

investigation commissions, especially on this kind of subject, may also have an educational role among the population; do not you miss this target by conducting almost all hearings in camera?

S. P: We changed our perspective on the way. Initially, we wanted all hearings are public, but we realized that the speech quality was absolutely not the same in private. During the public hearings, it has happened that interviewed people come to us then in an aside to tell us things they would not say in public.

The 39 proposals the parliamentary inquiry into the attacks

the parliamentary commission investigating the attacks in January and November 2015 issued its report Tuesday, July 5, highlighting the amazing lack of coordination of the french intelligence

Read also:. Attacks: Commission of inquiry proposes a complete overhaul of intelligence

the list of proposals of the Commission , on victim assistance, the organization of the intelligence services, criminal policy and foreign policy of France



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