FAILURE?

French Intel Service Questioned

Did France’s intelligence services make a major mistake in not detaining Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old suspected in a series of al Qaeda–inspired shootings across southern France, before it was too late? Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has asked whether they failed to stop the attack since Merah had been under surveillance and was questioned as recently as November. Merah was on a government no-fly list, and the authorities knew that he had a violent criminal record and had been to Afghanistan at least twice. French security services are well known; no terror attacks have taken place there in 15 years.