Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

France Rises Terror Alert Following Russia Theater Attack

Mon 25 Mar 2024 | 09:09 PM
Israa Farhan

France has heightened its security alert to the highest level in response to a fatal assault at a concert venue on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia's capital.

The incident, which occurred at the Crocus City Hall on Friday, claimed over 137 lives and left 140 individuals injured. 

The attack was attributed to the Afghanistan-based extremist group "Islamic State Khorasan Province" (IS-K).

Following an emergency security meeting convened by President Emmanuel Macron in the aftermath of the assault, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced the escalation in security measures via X platform, formerly Twitter.

"We have decided to raise the Vigipirate state to its highest level: attack emergency," Attal stated, referencing France's security alert system.

The decision was made "in light of the Islamic State's claim of responsibility for the attack [in Moscow] and the threats posed to our nation," Attal emphasized.

France's alert system comprises three tiers, with "attack emergency" being activated in response to an attack within France or abroad, or when there is an imminent threat of an attack.

The highest alert level permits the implementation of extraordinary security measures, such as heightened patrols by armed forces in public spaces.

France had already been on heightened alert ahead of this year's Paris Olympics and Paralympics.

IS-K, an offshoot of the "Islamic State" (IS) group, is among the most lethal branches, responsible for numerous casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2015.

Although primarily active in Central and South Asia, it has also conducted operations targeting Europe and North America.

The Khorasan group pledged allegiance to IS in 2015, during IS's control over significant territories in Iraq and Syria.

In December, German authorities apprehended a Tajikistan citizen suspected of plotting an attack on a historic cathedral in Cologne on New Year's Day, alleging his involvement in an IS-K terror cell.

IS has perpetrated several assaults in France, including the infamous Bataclan theater attack and other incidents in Paris in 2015.

Regarding the Moscow attack, Moscow's Basmanny District Court formally charged four suspects aged between 19 and 32 with involvement in a deadly group terrorist act.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with two already pleading guilty, according to the court.