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The intelligence departments of Europe’s security services are suffering failure after failure when it comes to receiving alerts on preparations for large attacks.
Europe hasn’t yet understood who the potential enemy is, and so there is no prior information on any terror attack.
Europeans are regarding intelligence on homegrown terror as if it is military intelligence. That is, according to experts in Israel, one of the biggest mistakes.
Perhaps now, after the slaughter in Paris, they will realize it and intelligence services in European countries will change their course of action.
This also calls for changes in legislation as now in France, for example, security services are restricted in actions needed to receive early intelligence.
These change should allow entering mosques, installing surveillance devices, preemptive arrests and more.
The false perception of security services was also exemplified last friday in the long time passed from the moment the terror attack started in the theater where a rock concert was taking place to when special forces broke in.
The French thought this was a hostage scenario and that they have time for negotiations – but the terrorists came there to kill. This the French as well as other special units around Europe failed to understand.
Will the change in understanding happen now?
Israeli experts say that the change must be immediate and deep as more terror attacks are expected.
France, as well as other European countries, have terror cells of organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda that help local and foreign terrorists commit these terror attacks. These cells have large quantities of weapons and one of the missions of intelligence bodies is to locate as many of these weapons as possible.
Penetrating Muslim communities in French cities and other cities in other countries will not be simple, but without it there can be no prior information.
Israeli experts say that electronic surveillance means must be operated extensively.
The question now is whether or not Europeans understand the size of the threat and whether they are willing to make the changes required in order to cope with it.