A bumbling French spy inadvertently texted the target of an investigation — a radical cleric — and in so doing, tipped him off to the fact he was the target of the investigation.
The spy let him know he was under surveillance. Seriously.
It’s like a Pink Panther movie — only with radical terrorist ends.
The Independent has the story:
A French intelligence agent accidentally texted a suspected extremist preacher to say he was under surveillance, crippling his own investigation, it has been reported.
The spy tried to send secret information to a colleague, but tipped off his quarry instead by mixing up their phone numbers, it is said, leaving bosses furious at what French media labelled a “monumental blunder”.
The preacher, a suspected Islamist extremist in the Ile-de-France region, which includes the French capital, Paris, mocked the officer by phoning him back minutes later, The Local reported.
He was under investigation by France’s central territorial intelligence service, but the errant text also scuppered a similar probe by the country’s main spy agency, the DGSI.
France is on high alert following a string of terror attacks in recent years, with a state of emergency still in effect after it was instituted following the 2015 Paris attacks.
t is due to remain in place until the end of October, but President Emmanuel Macron plans to enshrine a number of its provisions into law.
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