France raises national security alert to highest level following deadly terrorist attack in Russia

The French government has raised the national security alert system to its highest emergency level following an attack on a concert hall in Moscow that has left at least 137 dead and many more injured. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the deadly event.  

France’s Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, has confirmed that the French government has escalated the national security alert system, known as Vigipirate, to its highest level in the wake of the attack on the Crocus Concert Hall in the Russian capital on 22nd March. 

Increases such as this occur only when the state feels there is imminent danger following a terrorist threat or act at home or abroad. 

“Following the attack in Moscow, a Defence and National Security Council was convened this evening [24th March] at the Elysée by the President of the Republic,” Attal announced on social media. “Given the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the attack and the threats weighing on our country, we have decided to raise the Vigipirate posture to its highest level: attack emergency.”  


The news comes just two months after the government lowered the threat level to ‘reinforced security’, the second of the three-tier system. 

Security measures under the recently elevated alert level include more frequent patrols by armed forces agents in public places such as religious sites, train stations and airports. 

Concerns over public security are running high in France at the moment, with the nation counting down the start of the 2024 Olympic Games. The opening ceremony on 26th July, which will see a parade of boats sail down the Seine, is likely to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators.  

France has good reason to be cautious, having suffered a series of major terror attacks in recent years, including at the Bataclan concert hall in 2015 and on the Promenade des Anglais on Bastille Day in 2016.  


The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Russia and four suspects are believed to be in custody.  

The men, who are reported to all be from Tajikistan, a former Soviet protectorate, are understood to have entered the venue and opened fire on the crowd. Reports of stabbings have also been included in the media coverage of the attack. Later, the suspects, who face charges of committing a terrorist act, set the concert hall on fire. 

The attack is the deadliest to have occurred on Russian soil in two decades. According to the latest reports, 137 people have died, while another 187 were injured. 


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Photo source: Gabriel Attal, X