The French and Belgian security forces' focus on Salah Abdeslam did not prevent the Brussels attacks because Abdeslam was only a trigger man, according to terrorism expert Mathieu Guidère.
Guidère told Figaro that Abdeslam was only a failed suicide bomber, while the Daesh operation was heavy on logistics, with the actual bombers only forming a small part of the group. Guidère is a researcher who studies the psychology and organization of terrorism, in part for the Center for Advanced Defense Studies think tank in Washington, DC.
"The Franco-Belgian security services focused on Salah Abdeslam, who was only a failed suicide bomber, threatened with death by [Daesh]. He was made a star, when he was only the assistant to the logistics," Guidère told Le Figaro.
As for the motivation, Guidère said that the bombings may have been motivated by a wish to punish Belgium for its cooperation with France, as well as cause economic harm.