French police probe threats on Coptic Christians

January 3, 2011 22:01

PARIS — French police said Monday they have tightened security at Coptic Christian churches and opened a probe into online messages threatening terror attacks against such religious sites in France.

The Internet threats were discovered soon after a bombing against Coptic Christians in Egypt killed 21 people on Saturday.A priest in the Paris suburb of Chatenay-Malabry lodged a legal complaint about the threats after a member of his congregation noticed the messages online, police said.

Police said the Chatenay-Malabry site was among the European churches mentioned in the threats. French anti-terror police have opened a preliminary investigation.

The Paris police prefecture said officers in the capital and its surroundings had put Coptic churches under more careful surveillance since the messages were discovered. Tens of thousands of members of Coptic community live in France.

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