French anti-terrorism agents were investigating threats of an attack Thursday against leading French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, judicial officials said.
The Paris prosecutor's office called for the investigation based on anonymous e-mail messages sent to the France-5 television station and an official with the Socialist Party, whose candidate Segolene Royal is Sarkozy's chief rival, a judicial official said.
Sarkozy, leading polls before April 22 elections, was to travel to Lyon later Thursday for a campaign rally.
Agents from the SAT anti-terrorism agency were trying to identify the computers that sent the e-mails, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because under French law information about investigations is secret.
France-5 officials confirmed that one e-mail reading "Attack Sarkozy, Lyon, April 5, 2007" was received Monday afternoon by a person who works at the channel's customer service department. France-5 said it immediately notified police.
Officials at Sarkozy's campaign headquarters would not comment on the threats or whether security measures were being tightened for the Lyon visit. No other details were immediately available.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969