This struck me as a profoundly French reaction:
"There was a failing, of course," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on BFM television. "That's why we have to analyze what happened."
What struck me as French, in the prime minister's statement, was the unvarnished acknowledgement of the obvious, combined with the call for analysis.
Apparently their intelligence services knew about these bad guys, but didn't make them a high priority.
Well, the intelligence role is hard. There's a lot of bad guys. It's hard to know who's about to really go berserk.
As with our Boston Marathon bombers, I wonder if the fact that the principals were actual brothers made it harder to catch them. The fact that brothers are associating would not raise red flags. And they might do more of their communication in person, making it harder to catch them by electronic surveillance.
The populace finds this sort of event unnerving. The populace then supports MORE electronic surveillance. But the intelligence services are already up to their necks in data. One of their problems is finding the signal in the noise.
In the midst of all the chatter
how do you find the messages that matter?