Thursday, October 7, 2010

France warns citizens about Britain travel

Amid a high alert over an alleged al Qaeda plot to attack cities in Europe, France has warned its citizens about travel to the United Kingdom, saying British authorities believe a terror attack is "highly likely."
The move follows a United States warning that Americans be careful about traveling in Europe because of the risk of terror attacks.

Neither the Britain nor France raised threat levels in response to the American warning, but each has now warned its citizens about travel elsewhere on the continent.

Europe remains on edge after the warnings, based at least partly on intelligence about a plot obtained from a German-Afghan in U.S. custody in Afghanistan.

Police in France seized 12 people for suspected terrorist ties Tuesday, but it is not clear whether they are connected to the plot that prompted the warning.

Those arrests came a day after a suspected drone strike in Pakistan left five German nationals dead, adding to the unease.

French national police said the 12 suspects were seized in the south of France.
Three have links to a French man -- identified as Riahd Hennouni -- arrested in Italy last month, authorities said. Two of them were arrested in Marseilles and the third was arrested in Bordeaux.

The nine other arrests happened throughout southern France, including some in Marseilles and at least one in Avignon, police said. Police in Marseille said the nine have links to an Islamist movement and are suspected of trying to obtain arms and explosives.

It is unclear whether the 12 are French citizens. None of them has been charged. Under French law, police can detain and question suspects for up to six days without filing charges.

Meanwhile, Italian police said Sunday they detained a French citizen of Algerian origin who is suspected of being a member of al Qaeda. The man was arrested last month by Italian police in Naples, Italy, on a European arrest warrant requested by France, the chief prosecutor in Naples told CNN Monday. The arrest was not announced at the time.

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