Our terrorism threat level for France is presently at severe. French officials have said that the terrorism threat in the country is at its highest-ever level. We fully anticipate this to remain – if not increase further – ahead of and throughout the 2016 UEFA European Championship, which runs from 10 June to 10 July.
We have not seen any overt references or specific threats from recognised extremist groups concerning the tournament in our monitoring so far. But all our information points to persisting high intent by Islamist militants to mount attacks in France. Major international sporting events present an opportunity for terrorists to attract international attention and harm the economy of the host by dissuading visitors. An attempted attack on the Stade de France in November 2015 suggests that Islamic State (IS) has this kind of intent.
Our threat level for France means that we assess an attack – or at least an attack attempt – is highly likely. Because of heightened security at sports venues, we assess that exposed crowded spaces would be the more likely targets if an attack attempt were to occur. This includes public spaces in city centres, and areas close to stadiums and fan zones where there are open air broadcasts of matches for the public and which are liable to be crowded.
This assessment reviews what we currently know and understand about terrorist intention and capabilities in France and the 2016 UEFA European Championship, threat-based scenarios of attacks for risk-management planning, and what kind of security measures the authorities are likely to put in place ahead of and during the tournament.
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