Sunday, January 13, 2013
BY JAMEY KEATEN
France's President Francois Hollande delivers a speech on the situation in Mali at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. French forces began backing Malian soldiers Friday in their fight against radical Islamists, drawing the former colonial power into a military operation to oust the al-Qaida-linked militants nine months after they seized control of northern Mali. French President Francois Hollande said that the operation would last "as long as necessary" and said it was aimed notably at protecting the 6,000 French citizens in Mali. Kidnappers currently hold seven French hostages in the country. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)
PARIS - The French president says the country will raise its domestic terror threat level after military action in Mali and Somalia, promising to increase protection at public buildings and transportation networks.
President Francois Hollande said Saturday he had ordered increased security after the French military operations in the two African countries against Islamist forces.
France has some of the world's most recognizable monuments and a wide-ranging national transportation network; like the U.S., it also has an organized government response if there are specific fears of a terrorist attack.
French aircraft and troops are backing soldiers in Mali who are trying to push back Islamist offensives; in Somalia, French commandos launched a failed raid to rescue an intelligence agent held hostage there for three years.