The Guardian reports: France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, has defended the country’s intelligence services after criticism that they should have prevented the gruesome double murder of a police commander and his partner by a man with a previous conviction for jihadism who had recently been under surveillance.
Larossi Abballa, 25, who claimed allegiance to Islamic State (Isis), stabbed police commander Jean-Baptiste Salvaing to death outside his home in Magnanville near Paris. He then entered the house and took Salvaing’s partner, Jessica Schneider, and their three-year-old son hostage. Abballa slit Schneider’s throat and streamed a live video of the fatal attack on Facebook. He was killed when police stormed the house and the boy was rescued alive.
French authorities have admitted that Abballa, who was convicted of taking part in a jihadi recruitment network to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2013 and sentenced to three years in prison, had been under phone surveillance this year in connection to an inquiry about another man leaving for Syria. The state prosecutor said nothing had been found during that phone tapping to indicate he was preparing to carry out a violent act. [Continue reading…]