French inquiry suggests intelligence overhaul following deadly Paris attack

PARIS, July 5 (UPI) — A French Parliament commission has recommended intelligence services be overhauled following two deadly Islamic State attacks targeting Paris in 2015.

“Facing the threat of international terrorism, we need to be far more ambitious than we currently are in terms of intelligence,” Georges Fenech, leader of the parliamentary inquiry, said Tuesday.

The commission recommended France establish a national counter-terrorism agency that will serve as the hub for intelligence and security operations against threats of attacks — an agency similar to the United States’ National Counterterrorism Center.

The commission said France’s state of emergency established after the November attacks was having a “limited impact” on security. Up to 7,000 French soldiers are deployed throughout France as part of security measures to protect locations deemed vulnerable, including schools, synagogues and shopping centers.

“I am wondering what real added value they provide in terms of securing the national territory,” Member of Parliament Sebastian Pietrasanta said.

The commission also said Belgian authorities acted too slowly to apprehend Salah Abdeslam, suspected of participating in the November attacks in which 130 people were killed. Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels days before the Islamic State bombings there targeting a subway station and an airport in which 32 people died.

The attacks targeting French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015 killed 17 people.

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