French authorities arrested twelve men on Tuesday morning on suspicion of involvement with al-Qaida and terror plots, news agencies reported.

AFP reported a police source as saying the men were detained in the southern French cities of Marseille and Bordeaux. According to an official, police seized "some weapons, including a Kalashnikov and a pump-action shotgun, as well as ammunition."

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Also on Tuesday, French police arrested three men
said to be linked to a man of Algerian origin taken into custody by Italian police in Naples on Saturday, who is due to be extradited to France.  Police reportedly found the phone numbers for the three men in the mobile phone of the Algerian man.

The man, 28, had been under a European arrest warrant when he was caught, allegedly with a bomb-making kit.

According to the report, Italian police had  placed the man under surveillance, following and filming him for three days before the arrest. The man had been in Naples since early September.

In addition to the bomb-making kit, a mobile phone and computer were also seized.

On Monday, French police arrested a 53-year-old man suspected of links to a bomb threats including one Friday at a Paris railway hub, an official with knowledge of the investigation said on condition of anonymity. The suspect, who was not identified, was detained southwest of the capital for possible links to a phone-in threat at the Saint-Lazare train station.


French authorities recorded nine bomb alerts in the capital in September, including two at the Eiffel Tower — a threefold increase from a year earlier. No explosives were found.

The arrests come as France and many other European nations have stepped up terrorism alert vigilance amid what has been described as an abstract though heightened threat in recent weeks.

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