12 January 2015
The jihadist assaults in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket as well as two French police officers have sparked allegations of a failure by French intelligence and security agencies. Jihadists beyond the Middle East are also portrayed as coordinated by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A closer look suggests those assertions are at best speculation.
There is little doubt that Cherif and Said Kouachi, the two brothers suspected of killing 12 people in the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, had long been on the radar of French police and intelligence. So was Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman, who is believed to have shot two French police officers a day after the Charlie Hebdo assault and then took hostages in a Jewish supermarket a day later. Similarly Hayat Boumedienne, Coulibaly’s wife, who is reported to have escaped to Syria, was long known for her association with radical groups.
Cherif Kouachi spent 18 months in French prison for helping foreign fighters join jihadist groups in Iraq.
…James M. Dorsey is Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of University of Würzburg and author of the blog The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 13/01/2015