Police find nothing suspicious after Eiffel Tower terrorism threat

News Agencies – September 14, 2010
The Eiffel Tower and its immediate surroundings were evacuated the evening of September 14th after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat, but a police search turned up nothing suspicious. Officials evacuated about 2,000 people and combed through the 324-metre tower, a Paris police spokesman said. By midnight, people were walking around and riding bikes underneath France’s most popular tourist spot again. Media reported that the scare was a false alarm. Paris police did not immediately return calls seeking information.
French media also said parts of a second tourist hub — the Saint-Michel subway station near Notre Dame Cathedral — were briefly evacuated following a similar threat. The station was the target of a terrorist attack in 1995 that killed eight and injured scores of people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the threats. But it comes after the head of France’s counterespionage agency was quoted last weekend as saying that the risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher.
Bernard Squarcini told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that France’s history as a colonial master in North Africa, its military presence in Afghanistan and a bill aimed at banning burqa-style Muslim veils in public all make the country a prime target for certain radical Islamist groups.