France confirms al-Qaida's European rail network threat - (Reuters)
France has confirmed that a "terrorist threat is present" against parts of Europe, while responding to reports over al-Qaida's alleged plot to attack high-speed rail networks.
Although there is no specific threat to France, according to the French radio RTL, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said: "The terrorist threat is present. We're not minimising that. It doesn't only come from organised outside groups like Al Qaeda...but also from within, due to the radicalisation of a certain number of individuals and groups who could act."
Vals was responding to earlier claims made by the German tabloid Bild, citing the National Security Agency (NSA), that the Islamic outfit was planning large-scale attacks on European rail networks.
"Our [intelligence] services have produced not a single piece of evidence which lends credibility to these [claims]. That's not to say that our vigilance is not total," he said.
The European nation is already on a "Level Red" terror alert, the second-highest level.
Valls said that trains, stations and airports are constantly under surveillance especially during key periods.
Earlier, an intelligence official was quoted by French TV TF1 as saying: "French intelligence agents haven't received any threat to specifically target France, but there are some worrying elements for northern Europe as a whole."
German authorities have also reportedly beefed up security deploying scores of personnel in key stations.
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