PARIS – Portuguese aviation authorities have alerted French counterterrorism officials to an intercepted message threatening terrorist attacks against targets in Paris including the Eiffel Tower, a French newspaper reported Friday.
The communication by short-wave radio, intercepted Thursday, was “vague and confused,” and Portuguese officials quickly alerted French authorities, French daily Le Monde reported, citing unidentified police officials.
French counterterrorism officials were trying to identify possible suspects behind the message, the report said.
A counterterrorism official told The Associated Press the threat was not precise and appeared to be exaggerated, but could not be dismissed entirely.
Police and air traffic controllers in Portugal declined to comment.
The Le Monde report said French authorities have noticed increasing chatter in cyberspace in recent days about possible terrorist attacks on France.
Daily Le Figaro reported Friday that the Interior and Justice ministries are taking seriously threats on the Web site al-Ekhlass, frequently used by Islamic militants to post messages. The site carries official messages from terror groups such as al-Qaida and also supports forums where anyone can post comments.
On Wednesday, French prosecutors said they were investigating a cryptic e-mail delivered to an Islamic Web site urging attacks on Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and the city’s tourist sites, judicial officials said. The sender and the site were not identified.
Last week, organizers of the France-based Dakar Rally vehicle race from Europe to Senegal canceled the event for the first time in its 30-year history, citing threats from al-Qaida-linked militants.