France's interior minister says there is a "real" threat against French citizens, after hearing an audio recording on Wednesday sent to France from Al Qaeda, the Associated Press reports.
Brice Hortefeux spoke before Parliament hours after the tape from Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden was posted. Hortefeux said threats to kill French nationals "would fit into the pattern of different threats that have already been made against our country and our citizens."
In the recording, bin Laden referenced France's involvement in the war in Afghanistan, as well as France's decision to ban women from wearing a Muslim veil that covers the face. According to the New York Times, the audio tape was broadcast on Al Jazeera warning France it would face "killings and kidnappings" if it does not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
In recent weeks, French officials have warned about a heightened terrorism risk but have not yet raised the country's terror alert to its highest level, the AP reports.