In a statement that doesn’t reflect so well on French intelligence officials, Turkish authorities have stated that they previously warned France twice about one of the suspects involved in the Paris terrorist attacks.
Evidence of 29-year-old Ismaël Omar Mostefaï’s fingerprints were found at the scene of the Bataclan. Mostefai is a Frenchman, about whom authorities in Ankara cautioned France in June 2014 and December 2015. They believed Mostefai had joined an armed group such as ISIS while in Syria, and that he was now venturing back into France.
Mostefai was seen in Turkey in 2013, after which his whereabouts were unknown until he was spotted in northern France in April of last year. French authorities apparently did not respond to Turkey’s warnings, and only recently asked for information on Mostefai after the attacks.
A Turkish official has stated the only reason Turkey has brought this up is to facilitate clearer communication between countries in the future: “This is not a time to play the blame game. The case of Ismaël Omar Mostefaï clearly establishes that intelligence sharing and effective communication are crucial to counter terrorism efforts. The Turkish government expects closer cooperation from its allies in the future.”
The necessity of open channels of communication and unity between countries is certainly an ongoing theme that has emerged from the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
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