France on high alert after al-Qaeda warning

18th Oct 2010
France on high alert after al-Qaeda warning

French security forces are on high-alert this morning following information from Saudi Arabia suggesting al-Qaeda is preparing an imminent attack on the country.

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said information from Saudi intelligence agencies suggested Europe and “France in particular” were in danger.

Pictured: The Eiffel Tower has been closed twice in recent weeks over security fears

The news follows reports of potential attacks in Europe earlier this month, with officials in the United States urging citizens travelling in the region to be on their guard.

Germany and the United Kingdom are also believed to be at risk.

In a statement to French media Mr Hortefeux said “I can tell you - and it’s not information that’s been made public yet - that even a few hours, a few days ago, we received a new message, from the Saudi intelligence services, indicating to us that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was certainly active, or expecting to be active,”

He added that the threat concerned “the European continent and France in particular”.


No further information as to the nature of the threat was revealed.


The official threat level in France remains one below the highest level of scarlet.

The Saudi warning is the latest to put French security forces, and those of other European countries, on heightened alert.

Reports earlier this month suggested a plot linked to al-Qaeda and involving European militants training in Pakistan to mount a Mumbai-style attack on Europe was being prepared.

Increased drone missile attacks in the tribal regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan were said by officials to be an attempt to disrupt the plot.


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