Home>News Center>World
         
 

Group threatens attack on France railway
(Agencies)
Updated: 2004-03-04 12:59

A previously unknown terror group has threatened to blow up French railroad tracks unless it is paid millions of dollars, authorities said Wednesday.

Information from the group led to the recovery on Feb. 21 of an explosive device buried in the bed of a railway line near Limoges in central France, the government said. The bomb would have been powerful enough to break a track, it said.

"We know nothing of this group but we are taking the threat seriously," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said.

The government had earlier urged French and international media not to report the blackmail effort to protect efforts to contact the group. But the Interior Ministry released details about the threats in a statement Wednesday after the story leaked.

The group "has sent several letters demanding an important sum of money in exchange for neutralizing several bombs it says it has laid, notably under rail lines," the ministry's statement said.

Officials said the government received at least three letters in December and February threatening nine railway targets.

Police said the group threatened attacks unless it receives $4 million and euro1 million worth $1.2 million within days. Police do not believe the group has any connection to Islamic terror networks.

Two magistrates, including renowned anti-terror investigator Jean-Louis Bruguiere, are working the case. Bruguiere's previous successes include the imprisonment of infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

The Interior Ministry said the group identifies itself as AZF the same initials as a chemical factory that exploded in southwestern France in 2001. Investigators believe that explosion, in which 30 people were killed, was accidental.

AZF "presents itself as a 'pressure group with terrorist characteristics,'" the ministry statement said.

 
  Today's Top News     Top World News
 

Pakistanis may be near bin Laden's aide al-Zawahri

 

   
 

Government relaxes control of airfares, finally

 

   
 

U.S. launches WTO complaint against China

 

   
 

Report: China, Iran sign US$20b gas deal

 

   
 

FM to pay official visit to DPRK

 

   
 

S. Korea won't send troops to Iraqi city

 

   
  Sources: Al Qaeda No 2 leader surrounded
   
  S. Korea won't send troops to Iraqi city
   
  Powell visits Iraq on eve of anniversary of US invasion
   
  US doubles reward for capture of bin Laden
   
  Poland 'misled' on Iraq, President says
   
  Kosovo death toll rises to 31
   
 
  Go to Another Section  
 
 
  Story Tools  
   
  Related Stories  
   
France calls for Haiti peace force
   
Purported al-Qaeda audiotape taunts Bush
   
EU, US OK Air France takeover of KLM
  News Talk  
  The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003  
Advertisement