(photo credit: REUTERS)
A failure in French intelligence services surfaced over the weekend, when news broke that Algerian intelligence sources warned their French counterparts on January 6th of the expected attack on the Charlie Hedbo offices that took place the next day.
Furthermore, the terrorists responsible both for Wednesday's Charlie Hebdo attack and for Friday's attack on a Kosher supermarket were familiar to French and international security forces.
Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attack, had been arrested a decade ago for their ties to a Middle Eastern based terrorist organization. The two were on a no-fly list in both the US and Britain due to their terror-related activity.
Said, the younger of the two brothers, served a short prison sentence for his affiliation with a terror organization.
Amedy Coulibaly, Friday's hostage taker at a Parisian kosher supermarket, also served a short sentence in Prison in 2010, after participating in a foiled attempt (with the Kouachi brothers) to free terror activist Jamaal Begal, responsible for the 1995 attack on a Parisian commuter train which killed eight, from prison. Coulibaly was imprisoned in 2013 and released merely two months ago.
Said Kouachi said he operated under the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, with the funding of the Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki.
Coulibaly claimed allegiance to ISIS
American sources reported over the weekend that Said Kouachi partook in Al-Qaida training in Yemen in 2011. For a while, he resided with Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known for his attempt to detonate a Detroit-bound flight Christmas 2009 with a bomb hidden in his underwear.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday that there were intelligence failures in keeping track of the three terrorists. "Clearly there was a fault," he said, "when 17 are left dead, there's obviously a failure."
On Friday, the United States State Department issued a travel warning to its citizens due to the possibility of terror attacks. No specific country was listed in the warning; It merely stated that US actions against ISIS have turned American citizens into targets, especially in Middle Eastern, North African, Asian, and European countries.
British Domestic Intelligence Chief Andrew Parker spoke Thursday night, warning in a rare speech of the immediate threat posed on the West by terrorist organizations.