By Chris Bradley
The Eiffel Tower was evacuated today following a tip-off that was later traced to a nearby phone box. Although such threats are relatively common, it appears that the Foreign Office and French government are taking this one seriously. Tourists were escorted from the famous Paris landmark for the second time in as many weeks as police and government officials patrolled the area and sniffer dogs were brought in as the area was thoroughly inspected. Around 2000 visitors and tourists were removed from the site and the neighbouring park, with a nearby train station cleared by police just hours later. Although nothing was found and it was later deemed a false alarm, security services are not taking any chances and French officials have increased surveillance in the city. The impact of this has seen many countries across the world warning tourists to avoid the France and mainland Europe.
Security services across Europe are now on high-alert after the UK intelligence services intercepted what they believe is a plausible terror plot just last week, with Al-Qaida the suspected agitators. It is understood that officials across the continent are expecting that a terrorist attack is imminent and are increasing security in the run-up to Christmas. With many countries advising tourists to avoid France and Germany, the advice from both countries is to stay calm; while they are aware of the threat, there is no concrete evidence that this will happen.
Since then, rumours have circulated about a possible threat to the transport system by a female suicide bomber but these are yet to be substantiated.