France issues travel warning after ISIL threat

France issues travel warning after ISIL threat
# 25 September 2014 18:49 (UTC +04:00)
"In the context of international coalition intervention against Daesch [Islamic State], and in the face of an increased risk of kidnappings and hostile acts against citizens of countries part of the coalition, French nationals are asked to increase their vigilance," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
President Francois Hollande called the execution of kidnapped French national Herve Pierre Gourdel "barbaric" on Thursday, and announced an increase in police and army numbers around the country.
"Preventive measures against terrorist risks implemented in the country will be strengthened in public places and on transport," Hollande said after an emergency meeting with his defense council.
On Sunday, ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued an online audio message that called on supporters to kill the nationals of Western countries taking part in the coalition.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European, especially the nasty and filthy French, or an Australian, or a Canadian... including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah and kill him," he said.
Government Spokesperson Stephane Le Foll told reporters in a press conference Thursday that "there have been [French] strikes this morning in Iraq" - the second understood to have taken place against ISIL targets since last Friday.
Among the countries mentioned in the warning was Turkey, which borders Syria, and has been used by some of those who sign up with militant groups, such as ISIL, as a gateway to Syria.
The announcement follows the broadcast of a video titled "Blood Message to France" on Wednesday, which claims to show the decapitation of Gourdel in Algeria by the Jund al-Khilafa group.
Gourdel, a mountaineering guide, was kidnapped over the weekend in Tizi-Ouzou, north central Algeria.
Last week, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve sent a memo to police stations instructing them "to raise the level of vigilance of the internal security forces on sensitive buildings" including "religious, diplomatic and consular” sites.
Le Foll said Thursday that France will be in national mourning following Gourdel's death; flags flown at half-staff for three days starting Friday.