"Several days ago the Saudi services alerted their European counterparts that there was a terrorist threat on the continent, notably in France, coming from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," Hortefeux told RTL Radio. The message indicated the branch of al Qaeda was active or about to become active in Europe.
"The threat is real and our vigilance is intact," he said. France's terror alert level is at Reinforced Red, the second-highest level below Scarlette Red. "Vigilance is total," Hortefeux said.
At least two attacks were foiled in France in the past year, and 61 people are currently jailed for suspected involvement in terrorism, the interior minister said.
The new warning comes at a time of heightened security in Europe. Earlier this month, France warned its citizens about travel to the United Kingdom, saying British authorities believe a terrorist attack is "highly likely." Neither the U.K. nor France raised its threat level, but each issued warnings about travel elsewhere on the continent.
The United States also warned Americans to be careful about traveling in Europe because of the risk of terror attacks. Sweden and Japan also warned their citizens.
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.
I guess AQ has decided we're about to do ourselves in here on this side of the pond, so breaking ethnic tensions in countries like France and Germany wide open seems like a logical next step if your goal is to sew chaos and paranoia. France says the UK is the target, the Saudis say France is the target, and the US says everyone's a target.
And the bastards don't actually have to do anything. That's the best part. We're terrorizing ourselves and now each other to boot.