Al-Qaeda leader calls abductions of French citizens in Niger a result of “injustices against Muslims” in new audiotape.
|France increased security at potential targets following threats of an al-Qaeda attack [GALLO/GETTY]|
French police have arrested two people on suspicion of links to “terrorist” groups as part of an ongoing crackdown amid a security review.
Brice Hortefeux, the French interior minister, said the two brothers were suspected of “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise” and had been arrested in a Paris suburb.
“These are serious counts. They are being questioned at this moment,” he told France 2 television on Thursday.
Hortefeux said a total of 85 arrests were made this year and that 27 of the suspects were still being detained.
French police arrested 12 people in early October in swoops that Hortefeux said at the time were directly linked to a campaign to counter an elevated “terrorism” threat in Europe.
Governments, airlines and aviation authorities around the world have been reviewing security since US-bound parcel bombs sent by air from Yemen were intercepted in Dubai and Britain late last week.
Five French citizens were kidnapped in Niger by the North African wing of al-Qaeda in September.
In a message attributed to Osama bin Laden last week, the al-Qaeda leader said that the kidnapping of the five French nationals had been prompted by “France’s injustice to Muslims”.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, was among leaders targeted by mail bombs discovered in Greece this week.
Extreme left-wing group are suspected to be behind the Greek bombing campaign, but no group has claimed responsibility.