U.S. Embassy in Paris urges Americans to exercise caution after France raises terror alert to highest level following Moscow mass shooting attack

 March 27, 2024

Following a suspected terrorist attack in Russia's capital city of Moscow, other nations across Europe have stepped up their security measures in case there are additional planned attacks soon.

That includes France, which prompted the U.S. Embassy in Paris to issue a security alert to all American citizens living in that nation to similarly be on guard against possible attacks, Fox News reported.

The embassy has not ordered any evacuations, at least as of yet, though that could be a possibility if a more concrete threat of terrorism soon emerges.

Americans in France cautioned as the nation heightens its security alert system

On Monday, the U.S. Mission to France issued a security alert that stated, "Following the March 22 terrorist attack in Moscow, Russia, the French government elevated its Vigipirate national security alert system to the highest level."

"As a result, residents and visitors throughout France may see heightened security in public areas, including airports; public transport; places of worship; tourist sites; schools; major sports venues; and large commercial centers," the alert continued.

"French authorities actively monitor terrorist threats from organized groups and radicalized individuals," the message further stated. "Attacks may happen with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, major sporting and cultural events, and other public areas that attract large numbers of civilians.

"Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should be particularly attentive to their surroundings," the alert concluded along with encouragement for people to "report any suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities."

It further advised American travelers and residents in France to "Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity; Exercise caution if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests; Monitor local media for updates; Be aware of your surroundings; Keep a low profile; and notify friends and family of your safety."

France and U.S. point finger at Islamic State group affiliate that claimed responsibility for attack

According to USA Today, intelligence agencies for both France and the U.S. have publicly accused an offshoot of the Islamic State group of being responsible -- and that group has claimed responsibility -- for a mass shooting attack at a concert hall near Moscow in Russia. At least four gunmen carrying rifles opened fire on civilians, reportedly killing at least 137 people and leaving around 180 more wounded.

French President Emmanuel Macron, while speaking with reporters during a trip to French Guiana in South America, said, "The information available to us … as well as to our main partners, indicates indeed that it was an entity of the Islamic State which instigated this attack."

Using the initials ISIS-K for the Islamic State-Khorasan group based in Afghanistan, the French president added, "This group also tried to commit several actions on our own soil" and noted that France on Sunday had raised its terror alert warning to its highest level for the foreseeable future.

Russia blames Ukraine and U.S. for deadly mass shooting attack

Meanwhile, as France and the U.S. blamed the attack on the Islamic State group affiliate, which itself has claimed responsibility, USA Today reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has, perhaps unsurprisingly, accused its bitter enemy Ukraine -- and by extension the U.S. and other Western allies -- of being the real planners of the deadly mass shooting attack.

Ukraine and the U.S. have, of course, strenuously denied that accusation and President Macron also addressed it when he told reporters, "I think that it would be both cynical and counterproductive for Russia itself and the security of its citizens to use this context to try and turn it against Ukraine."

The four alleged gunmen, who were quickly apprehended after the attack by Russian authorities while ostensibly fleeing toward Ukraine, have since made their initial appearances in a Moscow courtroom -- where they all looked as though they'd been badly beaten or tortured while in custody -- and were hit with terrorism charges.

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