French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that France is at risk of chemical and biological attacks from terrorists, in an address to the French parliament.
“We must not rule anything out,” Mr Valls said. “I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons.”
He said that “terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria… but for what it is.”
“What is new are the ways of operating; the ways of attacking and killing are evolving all the time,” he added.
“The macabre imagination of those giving the orders is unlimited. Assault rifles, beheadings, suicide bombers, knives or all of these at once.”
The BBC reports that Mr Valls also called on Europe to adopt new measures to share information about airline passengers. “More than ever, it’s time for Europe to adopt the text… to guarantee the traceability of movements, including within the union. It’s a condition of our collective security.”
Mr Valls’s comments come as it is reported US intelligence warned French authorities in May that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the so-called “mastermind” behind the Paris attacks, was involved in plotting an attack.
AP reports that the Office of Intelligence and Analysis said that the plot “may indicate that the group has developed the capability to launch more complex operations in the West,” as opposed to “lone wolf” attacks.
The report identified Abaaoud as the leader of the Belgian plotters and claimed he directed operations from a safe-house in Athens.
It said that although the threat was primarily aimed at Europe, it cautioned that similar attacks could happen in the United States.
“We cannot discount the possibility for potential complex attacks here in the Homeland,” it said.