100 fake bomb alerts raised at airports in France in 12 days

The government aims to file a complaint for every hoax

Nantes airport was one of many to receive fake bomb alerts since October 18
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French airports have been targeted by 100 bomb threats since October 18, it has been revealed, with the government taking each one seriously to find the culprits.

“We plan to file a complaint every time this happens and won't let anything pass,” Transport Minister Clément Beaune told French TV channel LCI.

While all threats so far have proved to be hoaxes, they have nonetheless resulted in a great deal of disruption, evacuations, hundreds of cancelled flights and thousands of passengers being delayed.

In addition to bomb alerts, reports of abandoned baggage at stations and airports have almost doubled, as well as a few cases of attempted cyberattacks.

Up to three years in prison

The number of hoaxes have decreased in recent days, with the minister stating this is due to the government’s firm stance on the matter.

In an attempt to combat increased numbers of alerts, the French government is threatening prison terms and heavy fines for those making the fake bomb threats.

Under French law, prank calls can be punished with up to three years imprisonment and fines of €45,000.

In the case of minors being found guilty of the hoaxes, parents could be made to pay for damages, while childrens’ names and phone numbers will be transmitted to the National Education system.

Threats not taken lightly

In the past fortnight, police numbers at French airports have been increased by up to 40%, and security at train stations has also been improved to combat the rise in threats.

This morning (October 31) a woman was shot at a Paris station by security officials after threatening terrorist acts.

Read more: Police shoot woman who threatened terrorism in Paris station

"No alert is taken lightly, all are the subject of an intervention," said the transport minister, adding that the law enforcement intervene "systematically".

France has raised its the maximum security level, as part of the anti-terrorist Vigipirate plan.

This comes in the context of the war between Hamas and Israel, and following the murder of teacher Dominique Bernard in his high school in Arras (Pas-de-Calais) by a 20-year-old former student, registered for Islamist radicalisation.

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