Vital clues were missed that could have averted the Paris atrocities, it was feared last night as it was revealed that:
- A heavily armed suspect was stopped on his way to the French capital more than a week ago but German police who uncovered an arsenal of weapons in his car did not tell anti-terror chiefs.
- At least one of the terrorists was a Parisian who had been on a terror watch list for five years, but was not being monitored closely enough to be stopped before he took part in the murderous attack.
- Greek authorities believe that two of the gunmen sneaked into Europe posing as a refugee from Syria – heightening fears that not enough security checks are being carried out on migrants.
As details of the killers’ identities began to emerge yesterday, Corinne Narassiguin, spokeswoman for France’s ruling Socialist Party, admitted: ‘Obviously there was a failure of intelligence.’
She said the French government had recently voted through new measures to improve surveillance of terror suspects, with 2,000 new posts being created, but added: ‘Unfortunately all these measures are not yet fully operational.’
French intelligence and security services had been reorganised in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacres, which left 16 dead in January. It emerged that the brothers behind the killings, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were well known to the authorities and were being watched – but surveillance was called off just six months before they launched their attack.