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France under terror threat alert in wider European plot

This is not to scare my readers but to inform them. For the past couple weeks, the threat alert in France has been high as intelligence agencies from the US and EU have picked up on widespread and credible hints at a terrorist plot of coordinated attacks on targets in Europe, particularly in France. This in the wake of French nationals being kidnapped in Niger by Al-Qaida affiliates and bomb alerts against the Eiffel Tower, and French transport systems.

French weekly Le Point talks about how the French government is communicating on this issue, with predictable criticism coming from left and right about how they are creating panic. But according to French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, there is a “real threat of an imminent attack.” And Police Director Frédéric Péchenard adds that “we have serious indications from reliable intelligence sources that there is a risk of a big attack.”

Meanwhile, the CIA is upping drone attacks of militants in Pakistan in an effort to hamper terrorist threats against European targets.

As the Wall Street Journal stated:

“…Last week, France stepped up its level of vigilance over what was thought could be an imminent al Qaeda threat. Authorities said that they had uncovered a suicide bombing plot to attack the Paris subway linked to al Qaeda’s North African affiliate. They said the threat might be connected to France’s recent vote to ban the wearing of burqas, the head-to-toe garb worn by the most conservative Muslim women…”

The US Embassy in Paris has issued this warning against attacks.

Authorities are trying to prevent a repeat of the 1995 Paris metro bombings and related scares or something even worse.

Louis Caprioli, former anti-terrorist intelligence chief at DST (Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire) (former French intelligence services agency, now part of the larger DCRI), was interviewed by Le Figaro here below talking about how there is a real threat notably from Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb including Algerian networks that use women suicide bombers.

Stay alert, stay safe, but don’t let this interrupt your daily life, of course. Il faut vivre.

  1. September 29th, 2010 at 08:00 | #1

    This just in from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11432849

    Western intelligence agencies are tracking a significant al-Qaeda plot to carry out commando-style raids on cities in Britain, France and Germany.

    It is thought teams of jihadists plan to seize Western hostages and murder them – in a manner similar to the siege of two Indian hotels in Mumbai.

    The plot is believed to be in its early stages.

    No imminent arrests in the UK are expected, and the national threat level remains at its current level of severe.

    Details leaked
    Intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic are tracking one of the most serious al-Qaeda attack plans in recent years.

    Inspired by al-Qaeda’s fugitive core leadership in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the plan is understood to include small well-armed commando-style teams of jihadist militants.

    The idea is thought to have moved from the aspirational stage to actual planning.

    Western security agencies may have been hoping to keep their knowledge of it out of the public spotlight for longer so criminal evidence could be gathered, but initial details were leaked to the US press.

    In the UK, the national threat remains at severe, where it has been since January, meaning a terrorist attack is thought highly likely.

    But government officials say there are no plans to raise it to the highest level of critical, and they do not expect to see an imminent wave of arrests.

    France and Germany are both on a heightened state of security alert.

  2. September 29th, 2010 at 14:44 | #2

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  1. September 29th, 2010 at 02:55 | #1
  2. October 4th, 2010 at 13:07 | #2

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