France: Terror threats as Sarkozy grabs reins

A group claiming ties to al-Qaida has threatened terrorist attacks linked to Nicolas Sarkozy's inauguration as French president on Wednesday, according to a statement posted on an Islamic Web site. The threats by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades could not be verified. There was no immediate comment from the French Interior Ministry. The group, calling itself al-Qaida's wing in Europe, warned of a "fierce battle at the heart of Sarkozy's capital" in "the coming days," according to the site, which is known as a clearing house for material from al-Qaida and groups linked to it. The group accused Sarkozy of planning to mimic US policy. Sarkozy has been openly friendly to the United States, though he has called the Iraq war a mistake.