Ever had that feeling when you had been saying something for quite some time and somebody actually backs you up?. Your reaction is usually “yeah, exactly, that’s what i’m talking about”.
That was me today when I followed ABC News’ coverage of the ISIS organised massacre in Paris that left 129 dead and 350 wounded. As I watched news anchor George Stephanopolous pose the question “were the Paris attacks an Intelligence failure” to a military analyst I was thinking to myself yes, my god. Not only that but also that.
Obviously the blame is on the perpetrators. However, I believe we all forgot about the Intelligence screwup behind this terror attack. The reason we forgot is that this might be the last thing to think about in a moment where we have to commemorate 100+ deaths, the attackers are still on the run and everyone is worried If this is going to happen again in other european countries.
I mean, for God’s sake, the Charlie Hebdo attacks happened less than eight months ago. How in the world did ISIS members from Syria, the most dangerous country in the world as we stand in 2015, pull three AK-47 assault rifles, shoot all over restaurants, plant three bombs (yes ,not one like the Boston marathon, not two but three) and hold people hostage in a concert hall?
The last massive terror attack in London was in 2005, with four suicide bombings in the Underground that killed 52 and injured 700. That was over ten years ago. Paris defence could not protect its’ citizens in less than eight months. I do not want to point fingers too much in a time where we should think about the losses and the families hurt, neither do I want to assert that preventing terror attacks is easy.
But damn it, It’s your job Intelligence. We do not call it national security for nothing. Governments spend billions and billions of funding into this thing called keeping the country safe. Spies kill and torture. Not to mention the ground forces that operated and still operate in the middle east.
Yet, 129 lives were erased by a handful of fanatics in one of the most important and developed cities of Europe.
Is it because there are not enough cameras in Paris maybe? Lots of people criticise London for being quite of a Big Brother. According to the British Security Industry Authority, in the UK there are over 5.9 million CCTV cameras. That equals to one for every 11 people.
Say what you will, but I call it effective security. People complaint about their privacy being stolen, but I have nothing to hide on the Tube or bus, or street. As long as cameras don’t come into my flat, I actually feel more secure with an eye watching my back, making sure that if someone attacks me I can find out who that is.
US Republican candidate Donald Trump recently said that “if people had guns in Paris, the attacks would have gone in a much different way”. I say, what if there were more cameras capturing terrorists smuggling kalashnikovs and planting bombs. That would have been different.
This incident is unfortunate, but we cannot overlook at the lack of security in Paris.It is not only a french mess though. US secret services today stated that in light of the attacks they will share information on jihadis with french intelligence. Are you kidding me? How about sharing before? maybe we could’ve prevented a catastrophe. Isn’t France a NATO member? aren’t they a key US ally in the fight against terror? Sharing is caring CIA, remember.
Now, most cities will bulk up on security everywhere. That is okay, but it will not give us back the hundreds of lives lost.
Praises to ABC and The International Business Times with this article , for not leaving this concept of Intelligence screwup behind. Other media outlets should talk about it too quite frankly. No one has had the courage to speak out yet. Hopefully soon that will change.
Links and sources: