50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

French bomb threats - do not cancel your Europe travel plans, but be prepared for disruptions

Date: 26 Oct 2023 17:35 (UTC)

The unrest in the Middle East caused by the war, various countries closing their borders, and the protests worldwide are creating havoc for airline passengers.

France has implemented a high-security alert after France has been at its highest security alert level since 13 October after a 20-year-old man fatally stabbed a teacher in the city of Arras in northern France.

You will see soldiers on the streets traveling through France, but public transportation has not experienced any disruptions. As a result of the heightened security, troubled people are playing on the fear factor by calling in bomb threats to airports, train stations, and public attractions in France. The bomb threats are treated seriously, and the 19 threats called into various French airports on one day were all found to be hoaxes. The government, airport, and airline officials must take the bomb threats seriously and respond accordingly, which includes evacuating the terminal and gate areas, deplaning aircraft, and stopping arrivals and departures. The local authorities investigate the sites; the airports can reopen if nothing suspicious is found. The disruptions delay passengers, cost the agencies involved thousands of dollars, and promote fear among travelers.

Who is behind the hoaxes?  

Investigators believe the 70-plus bomb threats to French airports and other facilities come from the same Swiss-based email address and are working to track down the perpetrators.

Another possibility is a small terrorist group, part of Al Qaeda, calling itself Ansar al-Sharia. The group claimed responsibility for the murder of 12 people and injuring 11 more when they stormed the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Charlie Hebdo is a publication that created controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders, and it published cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The terrorist group claims France and Sweden are leading a war against Islam and Muslims. 

So what should you expect if you are traveling in France? Be prepared for strict security procedures at the airport; lines can be longer at certain times of the day due to volume and increased protocols.

Be aware of your surroundings throughout your airport experience; report it to the nearest authority if you see something suspicious. 

Have a plan to meet other members of your traveling party if evacuation is required. 

If you are in public, plan to meet back at your hotel.

Have travel backup plans for departing a city, is there a train to another city? Can we drive somewhere else? 

Most of all, be patient. It is better to be safe than sorry; most mothers say that!

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