Once Again, The Brussels Attacks Were An Intelligence Community Failure, Not An 'Encryption' Problem
from the yet-again dept
It's looking like the Brussels attacks are showing the same pattern. First, there were reports that Belgian law enforcement was well aware of the attackers and their connections.
In Brussels, one of two brothers who took part in Tuesday’s attacks on Zaventem airport and a subway train, which killed 31 people and injured hundreds more, had already been suspected of helping the Paris attackers, the federal prosecutors’ office said.And another report noted that one of the brothers had been deported from Turkey a few months ago, and that Turkish officials had warned Belgium about his ties to terrorist groups.
Meanwhile, a more recent report says that US intelligence agencies were even more aware of the attackers:
U.S. security agencies had the names of the two suicide bombers who attacked Brussels airport in their databases as potential terror threats.So, once again, we see a situation where these guys were known (or should have been known) to law enforcement and intelligence, but they were still able to carry out their attack. And, yet, rather than blaming intelligence failures, politicians are blaming encryption again.
NBC News quoted U.S. officials who said that Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui were known to U.S. counterterrorism authorities before Tuesday morning, when the pair and a third man detonated theor bombs at the airport and a train station.
And, of course, the intelligence community will do what it always does: rather than admit it failed here, it will blame encryption or blame limits on surveillance and demand more powers. As we've noted in the past, no matter what the result, the intelligence community will always insist that more surveillance is the answer. If the surveillance works, to them it's evidence that they need more of it to do an even better job. If the surveillance fails (as in this case), then it's evidence that they need more surveillance to avoid such misses in the future. Anything to deflect from the fact that they had a ton of intelligence here, and still failed at stopping the attack.