France's interior minister says the risk of a terrorist attack against the country is "real," even as he downplays al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden's threats against French citizens.
Brice Hortefeux, speaking Wednesday hours after the bin Laden audio was posted, said bin Laden's threats to kill French nationals "would fit into the pattern of different threats that have already been made against our country and our citizens."
Hortefeux said French authorities' "vigilance is complete."
He was speaking before parliament, and a report posted on the Web site of Le Figaro newspaper quoted his remarks.
In recent weeks, French officials have warned about a heightened terrorism risk but haven't yet raised the country's terror alert to its highest level.