Saudi Arabian authorities have informed France about a new threat from al-Qaeda, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux disclosed on Monday.
Quoting Saudi intelligence agencies, Hortefeux said the alert spoke of an imminent al-Qaeda threat to Europe, France in particular. "This is not about overestimating the threat or underestimating it. I am indicating, based on all these elements, that the threat is real," he added, RTTNews reports.
European officials were informed that "al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was doubtless active or envisioned being active" on the "European continent, notably France," Mr Hortefeux said during a joint TV and radio interview.
"The threat is real," he said on RTL-LCI-Le Figaro's weekly talk show.
The warning from Saudi Arabia is the latest in a series of alerts that have put French security forces and others in high-vigilance mode.
The US State Department advised American citizens living or travelling in Europe earlier this month to take more precautions following reports that terrorists may be plotting attacks on a European city, possibly a shooting spree or other type of attack similar to the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks in India.
France began boosting security last month at busy tourist sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, which was twice evacuated after false claims of an attack, according to The Press Association.