French Interior Minister fears post-bin Laden reprisals

08:32, May 05, 2011      

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Interior Minister Claude Gueant on Wednesday expressed concern about possible terror attacks against France after the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

"Threats are everywhere and we fear that France is indeed the target, like the United States and other friendly countries, of retaliation and a desire for revenge," Gueant told local private radio RTL.

"The menace exists in France. It exists also against the French interest and French expatriates and in this regard I am particularly concerned about the situation in the Sahel," Gueant said.

The North African wing of al-Qaida (AQIM) seized seven hostages last September in the Arlit region in Niger near the Algerian border, including five French workers of France's energy group Areva.

Three other French nationals were killed by the AQIM in the Sahel region in Africa in response to two failed French military rescue operations.

"Osama bin Laden has long embodied the international terrorist jihadism. The objective was to neutralize it. This objective is achieved. But it was not the terrorist jihadism itself," Gueant said.

Gueant stressed that fight against terrorism did not end with the death of bin Laden as "al-Qaida is a highly decentralized organization" and "there are terrorist groups that are not directly linked to al-Qaida."

Source: Xinhua
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