Elements within the US intelligence community knew of the Paris terror attack but did not reveal the information because the attack served their “hidden agenda,” says a former American intelligence linguist.
Speaking to Press TV on Thursday, activist and political commentator Scott Rickard said the US intelligence tends to “look the other way” in such incidents.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden said on Wednesday that government mass-surveillance programs were ineffective because they were "burying people under too much data," citing the recent attacks in Paris as an example.
Mass surveillance has not stopped a single attack in the United States, Snowden told Dutch TV channel NOS.
Rickard had more to add to Snowden’s perspective.
“Individuals in the intelligence community are very focused on their targets and I think one of the things that Edward Snowden misses is that there is an opportunity to focus on individuals, like the individuals that were basically accused of the attacks in Paris earlier this month,” he said.
“I think what we see here is an opportunity for intelligence communities to basically look the other way when targets like those are being active in scenarios [that] would benefit their agenda,” Rickard noted.
He mentioned the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, who was convicted of attempting to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on the 2009 Christmas Day, using explosives hidden in his underwear.
Rickard said US intelligence knew of the plot but allowed the bomber to proceed with his plan.
“This was another example whereby the US and western intelligence had great amount of information about the movements and the whereabouts of Abdulmutallab and they even helped him get through the airport in Amsterdam on his way to the United States to do the underwear bombing,” he said.
The case sheds more light upon the Paris attacks, Rickard added. “So I think we are seeing a façade of actual truth in the matter of this attack whereby I think there may be an opportunity to pull back the curtains and see that the intelligence community knew a lot more about these guys.”
“Some people in the intelligence community ‘allow’ these guys to commit or be accused of committing these types of activities in order to enable more military and more anti-terrorism activity and create a kind of scenario whereby global leaders are setting up photo-ops in Paris to make it look as if they are combining efforts,” the analyst continued.
“I think it’s more of a propaganda move, whether or not the actual individuals conducted it or not,” Rickard said.
“I think that there is also a lot of individuals in the intelligence community that have a hidden agenda that allow these types of things to occur.”
On January 7, two gunmen attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people. The al-Qaeda branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack.
The French magazine has repeatedly provoked Muslim anger by publishing blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet, defending its actions under the guise of free speech.
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