What Went Wrong: Intelligence and other Failures in Western Counterterrorism Policies

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Over the last two decades, and more specifically since 9/11, several European countries have been caught by surprise terrorist attacks, exposing intelligence failures. [1] Both public opinion and experts have accused — in some cases rightly so — national intelligence agencies of being the root cause of those failures. [2] However, in most cases, the main problem is the lack of organization and cooperation within the security system, in which many actors are involved (intelligence agencies, police, policymakers, lawmakers and the justice system). Even in countries that have cooperative and coordinated security systems, there are other inefficiencies such as weak deradicalization policies or lack of CVE programs.

This article will focus on the counter-terrorism policies and security systems of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy and analyze their mistakes. After a brief evaluation of the different countries and their weaknesses, it will be easier to understand the problems and how best to fix them.

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Ein Service des deutschen Präventionstages.