France on high alert after warnings of possible terrorist attacks

Paris, Sep 28(ANI): France is reportedly on a high alert following repeated intelligence warnings that terrorists may be planning to carry out attacks in the country.

The French Interior Ministry had said that a foreign intelligence service had passed along a report suggesting that a female suicide bomber had planned to strike somewhere in Paris.

Although officials later dismissed the report as unreliable, they maintained the high alert.

Meanwhile, Bernard Squarcini, who heads the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence, has suggested that President Nicolas Sarkozy government's close links with the United States and increased troops in Afghanistan may contribute to the reasons behind the threat from the terrorists.

"France's role in Afghanistan, its foreign policy and the debate over the law banning the burqa have all increased the risk," Squarcini said.

"The risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher and, objectively, there are reasons for worry," he added.

He also declared that following the threat 'all the blinkers are on red'.

The French government has also encouraged and cooperated with central and northern African governments seeking to rid the region of the Al-Qaeda branch there.

Moreover, since taking over in 2007, Sarkozy has acquired a reputation as pro-Israel and had a law passed banning Muslim immigrants from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public, The Washington Post reports.

France last suffered a major terrorist attack in December 1996, when four people were killed and 170 wounded by a bomb that exploded in a commuter train station near the Luxembourg Gardens. (ANI)

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