Terror Campaign in Europe (03:00)
In 2015, Belgian police, U.S. police, and French intelligence raided the apartment of a terror cell with connections to ISIS in Syria. Law enforcement realized it was the start of a terror campaign hoping to spread across Europe.
Terror Attacks in Europe (02:26)
Since the raid, there have been multiple attacks in Europe, including at Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Brussels airport. ProPublica terrorism reporter Sebastian Rotella interviews intelligence officials about the missteps that allowed for terrorist activity in Europe.
Terror Cell in Paris (03:20)
French intelligence began monitoring a group of untrained Islamic extremists in 2003, including Cherif Kouachi. His connections with Al Qaeda grew after he was imprisoned in France in 2008.
Terrorism and the Court System (03:01)
The American and European court systems differ on how potential terrorists are treated. Kouachi's gang was treated as low level criminals and they received a short sentence; French intelligence officials regret not seeing them as more dangerous.
European Border Controls (03:54)
Kouachi took advantage of poorly protected French borders and traveled to Yemen to train with Al Qaeda. Legislation to increase border control and monitor airline travel was denied by the European Union. Al Qaeda uses citizens from Western countries to learn about culture and carry out terrorist plots.
Rise of ISIS (05:30)
Kouachi returned to Paris and he and his brother started planning the attack. They were being monitored, but European intelligence officials were overwhelmed by new threats. ISIS called for recruits to come to Syria.
European Security Forces (04:26)
Small budgets, politician disagreements, and weak laws on terrorism allowed Abdelhamid Abaaoud to recruit Belgian citizens to ISIS with little detection. The terrorist group's anger and influence grew as Western powers began bombing strongholds. ISIS created an external operations unit to carry out attacks in Europe.
Monitoring ISIS (04:06)
French intelligence officials switched their focus from Al Qaeda to ISIS, which left Kouachi and his network unobserved. The Charlie Hebdo attack highlighted problems in the intelligence and counter-terror systems.
ISIS Activity in Europe (06:16)
An international manhunt began for Abaaoud after an ISIS cell in Belgium was discovered. ISIS operatives sent by Abaaoud were arrested and questioned.
Terrorist Movement in Europe (05:27)
Abaaoud was able to sneak back into Europe and then into France. Intelligence officials warned of terrorists taking advantage of Syrian refugees coming into Greece and Germany. ISIS members sent by Abaaoud were tracked by intelligence officials.
November 2015 Paris Attacks (05:43)
In November 2015, Abaaoud and his network carried out a series of attacks in Paris. Most of the attackers were known to authorities in France and Belgium.
Coordinated ISIS Attacks (04:36)
Abaaoud was taking direction from ISIS chiefs in Syria using encrypted communications. ISIS was still operating in Belgium and carried out the attack on the Brussels airport. The European Union works to increase counter-terrorism activity throughout Europe.
Credits: Terror In Europe (01:04)
Credits: Terror In Europe
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