PARIS – A French newspaper says France changed its military strategy last year and started airstrikes in Syria because of concerns months before the attacks on Paris that ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud was plotting to target a concert and take hostages.
The report in Friday's Le Parisien, citing French and Belgian intelligence material and police recordings, lists repeated occasions when authorities allegedly failed to catch Abaaoud, even though he had been considered a major threat by several European intelligence services before the Nov. 13 attacks.
Abaaoud was killed in a police raid five days after the attack by Islamic State suicide bombers. Most of the 130 killed were hostages in the Bataclan concert hall.
The French president's office and Interior Ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the report.