- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2015

As investigators question how Islamic extremists coordinated a series of attacks in Paris, France last week under the radar of the authorities, reports suggest that at least one of the terrorists openly discussed their intentions months earlier.

Bilal Hadfi, a 20-year-old Belgian man believed to have detonated a suicide bomb outside the Stade de France last week, hardly kept his sentiments hidden. In a Facebook post from June attributed to the terrorist, Hadfi put out a call for arms five months before last Friday’s attack ever unfolded.

“Those dogs are attacking our civilians everywhere. Strike them in their community of pigs so they can’t feel safe again in their own dreams,” he purportedly posted on his Facebook page, the New York Times reported.

Hadfi used the same social media platform to speak with other members Facebook with members of Katibat al-Battar al Libi, a Libyan-rooted offshoot of the Islamic State terror group, according to the paper.

Months earlier, he uploaded a photograph of that appears to show Hadfi aiming a kalashnikov near a pool-side resort, open source investigation has revealed. Other images included one showcasing an arsenal of firearms, and another in which a group of men were depicted destroying a police car.

After Hadfi was identified as one of two individuals who detonated bombs outside a soccer stadium last Friday, online acquaintances began posting tribute messages on his profile, the Vocative website reported.

“Brother, we’ll never forget that Allah opened for you the door of paradise, Insha’allah,” one friend weighed in in a French-language post.

On Twitter, a world-renowned security researcher known as “the grugq” raised questions about the suspected terrorist’s pre-Paris plotting.

“My suspicion is that the attackers had weak operational security, but it was sufficient given the lax counterterrorism efforts they faced,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The more evidence emerges the more it appears the counterterrorism failures have been in analysis rather than intelligence collection,” he added.

In the wake of last week’s attacks, however, authorities in the U.K., U.S. and elsewhere have advocated for expanded powers in hopes of being able to prevent further assaults: British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said earlier this week that the U.K. plans to nearly double the amount it spends on cybersecurity in hopes of countering the Islamic State’s online recruitment and propaganda efforts, and Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, called on the U.S. to delay implementing measures later this month that will scale-back the National Security Agency’s telephone records collection efforts, specifically singling out the Paris attacks as a reason to keep the program in tact.


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