France Signals Heightened Terrorist Alert

News Agencies – September 20, 2010

France is on heightened alert for possible terrorist attacks after receiving a tip-off that a female suicide bomber was planning to attack the transport system, a police source said this week. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said France was facing a real terrorism threat as it faces a backlash from al Qaeda militants in North Africa and fears grow of an attack from home-grown cells within its borders.
A police source told Reuters the authorities had been alerted from Algeria that there was a possible threat from a female suicide bomber to the Paris metro system. France has not suffered a major attack since 1995 when the Algerian Armed Islamic Group killed eight people and wounded dozens bombing a Paris metro station.
France’s overall alert level remains unchanged at “red,” the second highest level. Opposition MPs have suggested the government may be using the “terror card” to distract from a political financing scandal embroiling the labor minister and the international uproar on the repatriation of Roma from France. The French military presence in Afghanistan and the parliament adopting a ban on full Islamic veils are also issues of contention.

France Signals Heightened Terrorist Alert

News Agencies – September 20, 2010

France is on heightened alert for possible terrorist attacks after receiving a tip-off that a female suicide bomber was planning to attack the transport system, a police source said this week. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said France was facing a real terrorism threat as it faces a backlash from al Qaeda militants in North Africa and fears grow of an attack from home-grown cells within its borders.
A police source told Reuters the authorities had been alerted from Algeria that there was a possible threat from a female suicide bomber to the Paris metro system. France has not suffered a major attack since 1995 when the Algerian Armed Islamic Group killed eight people and wounded dozens bombing a Paris metro station.
France’s overall alert level remains unchanged at “red,” the second highest level. Opposition MPs have suggested the government may be using the “terror card” to distract from a political financing scandal embroiling the labor minister and the international uproar on the repatriation of Roma from France. The French military presence in Afghanistan and the parliament adopting a ban on full Islamic veils are also issues of contention.

Algerian Convicted in Paris Attacks

An Algerian man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Friday for helping fund and organize a string of terrorist attacks in 1995 that killed eight people in Paris. The now-defunct Armed Islamic Group claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, saying it was punishing France for supporting the military-backed government of Algeria against Islamic insurgents. Rachid Ramda was found guilty for playing a role in a July 1995 blast in the Saint-Michel train station that killed eight people and injured 150, as well as attacks in October 1995 at a subway stop and the Musee d’Orsay train station that injured another 44 people. The bombings used cooking-gas canisters loaded with nails, sometimes hidden in garbage cans.