Saudi Arabia warned France that it is the target of an imminent Al-Qaida attack, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on October 17th. Saudi intelligence reportedly informed the French government that “France in particular” is threatened by the movement. The warning came as France remained on high alert, with military units patrolling key tourist and transportation sites in Paris and other major cities. The official threat level in France, known as Vigipirate, remains at the second highest level: red.

Editor’s Note: There is some speculation that France is being targeted because of recent legislative action banning Muslim women from wearing the burqa.

French truck drivers joined a growing number of workers, students, and activists protesting government plans to increase the age of retirement. The drivers staged several overnight protests on motorways near Paris, Lille, and Lyon. Fuel refinery strikes continued nationwide, with more than 1,500 petrol stations running out of fuel. Additional strikes and protests are expected for October 19th with the Senate expected to vote on the bill on October 20th. In spite of government claims that there is no reason to panic about fuel shortages, the French public has reportedly lined up to purchase fuel, with consumption rising by 50%.

Meanwhile, public transport workers blocked public transport depot in cities across France, including Toulouse and Saint-Etienne. Although officials restored a key pipeline providing fuel to the two major airports servicing Paris, officials at Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) warned that planes had to land with enough fuel to make their return journeys.

Copyright © 2010, Altegrity Risk International, Inc.

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