Already before the Times report, numerous media outlets had revealed that most Islamists involved in the November 13 attack were known to security forces. Since the Paris attacks, a growing number of experts on French Islamism have expressed amazement that such figures were allowed to operate in France and prepare the attacks.
When Abaaoud was identified as a possible orchestrator of the attack, David Thomson, a journalist specializing in jihad in France and author of French Jihadists, wrote: “if this report is substantiated, what would be involved would be far more than astonishment at a meltdown of the security services.”
Thomson explained, “One must understand who this man is. He is the public face of the French-speaking jihadi world. His face was displayed for several days last year round-the-clock on all France’s major news channels. In 2013 and 2014, on his own Facebook page, under his true identity, he posted videos of himself on the Syrian front, grenade launcher in hand, calling for people to join him.”
Abaaoud’s ability to travel in Europe and plan and obtain supplies for a major terrorist attack can only be explained by the close ties between Islamist terrorist circles and French intelligence, who uses them to go fight in the imperialist war for regime change in Syria. Under these conditions, the Paris attackers were able to exploit what amounted to official protection for their operations from sections of the French state.”
What this means is that using “terrorism” as a pretext to expand state surveillance is thoroughly bogus.
The government did not act on information it already had. It did not use the powers it already has. It ignored the extensive information it had about the attackers.
That is not mere incompetence. That is certainly culpable negligence.
Very plausibly, it is malicious intent on the part of the intelligence agencies, to fuel French participation in Syria.