Franceâ€™s intelligence services are facing intense scrutiny over whether they could have prevented the Paris attacks, since one of the terrorists was known to the agency. Â According to Yves Trotignon, a former counter-terrorism official in the French external service, DGSE, the security services had long feared such an event.
â€œIt is extremely difficult to defend against such an attack once it has begun to be executed,â€ Trotignon said to The Guardian. â€œWe have seen that not only in Mumbai, but also in Nairobi and Peshawar.â€
â€œIt is hard to qualify yesterday eveningâ€™s events as a success for the intelligence agencies,â€ said Trotignon, now an adviser at Risk & Co, an engineering and risk assessment consultancy. â€œBut until we know more about the organisation of the attack and its authors itâ€™s impossible to blame this or that service.â€
The Paris atrocity comes after a security services thwarted a series of attempted attacks by Islamic militants in France in recent months. They successfully uncovered at least six plots.
Marc Trevidic, Franceâ€™s outgoing examining magistrate in counter-terrorism cases, said shortly before the Paris attacks. â€œFrance is the principal target for an army of terrorists of unlimited means. Furthermore itâ€™s also clear that we are particularly vulnerable because of our geographical position, for the ease of entrance on to our territory for jihadists of European origin.â€