Europe on alert: fall 2010 terror plots

Al Qaeda-linked terror threats in Europe this fall put intelligence and security forces, as well as the public, on edge. Most recently, Germany ramped up its security in anticipation of a possible attack. Below, an overview of those threats and incidents:

French officials evacuate Eiffel Tower twice in September

Jacky Naegelen/Reuters
Police stand guard on a bridge across from the Eiffel Tower after the French tourism landmark and the surrounding park were evacuated for the second time in two weeks following a bomb alert in Paris on Sept. 28.

The first of this fall’s incidents was in early September, when French police closed the Eiffel Tower after receiving a bomb threat. Two weeks later, the iconic structure was closed again for the same reason. At the time, French authorities suspected Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb of plotting an attack, the Associated Press reported. French officials said at the time that the French burqa ban may have spurred the threats.

French officials were also on the lookout in late September for a female suicide bomber possibly threatening French public transport, the Daily Mail reported. Combined, these incidents prompted significant anxiety about impending threats. "The risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher," said Bernard Squarcini, head of French domestic intelligence, according to the Daily Mail.

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