Security increased around Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
Published 09/11/2010 | 13:57
Security around Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the French first lady, has been "drastically" beefed up following al-Qaeda warnings that France is a priority terrorist target.
Last week, Osama bin Laden issued a threat to kill French nationals for their government's support of the war in Afghanistan and a ban on the full Islamic veil.
Shortly afterwards, Greek police intercepted a booby-trapped parcel bomb addressed to President Nicolas Sarkozy.
According to the Pure People website, security services have received "credible intelligence" that the threat to the President but also his wife has increased.
The website said: "There is no question of the couple ever going out without an armed escort. Details of all their movements are being kept secret until the very last moment. Their schedule is randomly changed and family and friends informed at the at the latest possible moment."
The new rules mean that from now on, the first lady can no longer travel in the same car or other means of transport as her husband.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy is said to find the constant police presence a strain.
Her immediate family including her sister Valeria, her mother, Marisa Bruni, her nine-year-old son Aurélien, and the boy's father Raphael Enthoven were also being given extra security details, the website said.
The Elysée Palace made no comment on the report.
Last week, France announced it would step up the screening of airline passengers travelling to the country following warnings by its top intelligence official that it was facing a "very serious" threat of a terror attack.
France voted through a new law banning the burka and other full veils, Islamic or otherwise, last month, leading to threats of revenge from Islamist groups.