France warns travelers of increased terrorist threat in Britain

France warned its citizens traveling to Britain to be especially vigilant, saying a terrorist attack on public transport or tourist sites is 'highly likely.'

Remy de la Mauviniere/AP
Soldiers patrol at Gare du Nord train station in Paris, France, Oct. 4. France warned its citizens traveling to Britain to be cautious, after the US issued a general travel alert for Europe on Sunday.

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The same day that France made 12 arrests connected to terror plots, its Foreign Ministry urged French citizens visiting the United Kingdom to be cautious, warning them that a terrorist attack on public transport or in the tourist areas is likely. The warning came in a statement on the ministry website late Tuesday night, Radio France International reported.

The French alert for the UK comes after the US issued a general travel alert for Europe on Sunday, warning of a "high threat" in France and Germany.

France has been on its second-highest level of terror alert for more than a week, The Guardian reported.

Yesterday, France arrested nine men under suspicion of trafficking arms and explosives and, in a separate raid, three men suspected of offering housing and false identification papers to foreigners trying to enter France.

Contact information for those three men was found in the cellphone of a French citizen of Algerian origin who was arrested in Italy with a bomb-making kit, the Monitor reported yesterday.

Western governments are concerned that Al Qaeda is turning to Western sympathizers to help it carry out terror attacks in Western Europe.

There is an "abstract though heightened threat" right now throughout Europe, the Associated Press reported.

Security officials have said terrorists may be plotting attacks in Europe with assault weapons on public places, similar to the deadly 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, India.

European officials have provided no details about specific targets, though security has been boosted in many bustling public places - for example, at Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Meanwhile, a rocket was launched Wednesday morning at a convoy carrying British embassy staff in Sanaa, Yemen, and a security guard opened fire in an Austrian oil firm compound, the Monitor reports.

Despite the heightened awareness throughout Western Europe, Germany is not being alarmist about the threat of attack, the Guardian reported.

Speculation has centered on Germany as a target, apparently based on information a captured German militant gave US interrogators in Kabul. Berlin has been dismissive, however, insisting there is no intelligence to warrant an increased alert level.

Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said today he saw no indications of any imminent terror attack on Germany. "No one should doubt that Germany is a target for terrorists, but on the other hand there are no concrete, immediate attack plans that we are aware of," he told Deutschlandfunk radio.

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