French PM: “17 people died, French intelligence has failed”

SHAFAQNA – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has acknowledged intelligence “failings” in events that lead to the deaths of 14 civilians and three police officers over the last few days.

“If 17 people die, this means mistakes have been made,” Valls said on French TV station BFM on Friday.

“There was a failing, of course… That’s why we have to analyze what happened,” he added.

On Friday, two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, suspected of slaughtering 12 people on Wednesday at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, were killed after being cornered at a printing workshop with a hostage in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris.

Eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in the Wednesday attack.

Also on Friday, police ended a second hostage-taking in a supermarket in the eastern Porte de Vincennes area of Paris, killing one armed hostage-taker, Amedy Coulibaly, who was a suspect in the Thursday killing of a policewoman in southern Paris. Officials say that four hostages were also killed during the raid.

Earlier on Friday, a person claiming to be Coulibaly told BFM that he was an ISIL member, and that he had “co-ordinated” his attack with the Kouachi brothers, state-run BBC reported.

Paris’ public prosecutor told ABC news that the two simultaneous standoffs on Friday were connected as the suspected gunmen in each event were linked by a previous attempt to break a convicted terrorist out of prison.

The ISIL Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, threatening to target the United States and Britain next.

“We started with the France operation for which we take responsibility,” Abu Saad al-Ansari, who is affiliated with the Takfiri group, said in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

“Tomorrow will be in Britain, America and others,” the ISIL militant added.

French police and intelligence services have been facing mounting criticism over their lack of intervention before the attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper headquarters by the two gunmen on Wednesday.

One of the main suspects of the Wednesday attack had reportedly been convicted on terrorism charges and another is thought to have had links to Yemeni al-Qaida militants.

According to a US official, both suspects were on the US no-fly list.





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