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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 06:03 PM        Bomb found on French train track
here

France Finds Railside Bomb; PM Urges Calm

1 hour, 57 minutes ago

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By Gerard Bon

PARIS (Reuters) - A French railway worker found a bomb half-buried on the main line between Paris and Switzerland Wednesday, alarming commuters across Europe and jolting financial markets two weeks after the Madrid train bombs.



Bomb experts detonated the makeshift device and the Interior Ministry made no mention of any Islamic threat in a statement about the discovery. But the dollar slipped against the Swiss franc, a refuge currency, and markets elsewhere were jittery.

"I call on everybody to be calm until the investigation is over," Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said, interrupting his campaigning for voting in regional elections Sunday.

The Ministry said the bomb consisted of a nitrate-based fuel in a plastic container. It was discovered around midday concealed under tracks in the countryside near the city of Troyes about 90 miles southeast of the French capital.

"An SNCF worker was doing his rounds near the tracks and noted something unusual," a spokeswoman for the railway said. Traffic was suspended in both directions.

The state-run railway said it was ordering thousands of staff to carry out the second inspection in a month of the entire 20,000-mile network, which carries 2.5 million people daily.

French television showed police and railway staff by the line where the bomb was found, on a stretch of track surrounded by trees.

Despite the scare, Rafferin completed a scheduled regional election campaign trip by plane to the historic city of Troyes. Officials said the visit had been agreed at the last-minute and ruled out any link.

RED ALERT

French railways and airports have been on red alert since bomb blasts on trains in Madrid on March 11 killed 190 people. Spanish police have arrested 13 people, including 10 Moroccans, for their alleged role in the bombings.

The Interior Ministry said the device had been half-buried between the rails and gravel. Once made safe by bomb disposal experts, it was sent for examination by forensic scientists at the main police laboratory "to ascertain how dangerous it was."

The Ministry said the homemade bomb comprised a small transparent plastic box containing nitrate fuel, a battery linked to a detonators and a timing device.

It did not say who may have planted the latest device but added that it did not resemble one left by a shadowy group calling itself AZF which is demanding cash and threatening to blow up parts of the track.

Last week financial markets still jittery after the Madrid attacks were unnerved by the discovery of a fake bomb on the main high-speed line linking Paris and London. The alert forced a temporary suspension of services.

That incident appeared to be the work of AZF, whose threat to blow up parts of the network prompted an exhaustive search of rail tracks on March 4. The same group directed authorities to an explosive device it had left on the tracks in February.

Asked if the new bomb bore the hallmarks of AZF, Raffarin said in comments broadcast on television: "For the moment I can't answer you. It doesn't match the information we have."

Raffarin also warned France against panic eight days ago, after a self-proclaimed Islamic group threatened to plunge France into "terror and remorse" to punish the country for passing a law banning Islamic headscarves in state schools.






I don't think this was the work of Al Queda or anything like that. Personally, I think it was some smart ass kids or a bunch of Al Queda wannabes. I just thought it was interesting that a country that didn't side with the US in Iraq also happens to have its terrorist issues.

As if maybe someone has the idea that planting bombs in civilian populations has suddenly become a legitimate negociation tool.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 06:37 PM        Re: Bomb found on French train track
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Originally Posted by El Blanco
I just thought it was interesting that a country that didn't side with the US in Iraq also happens to have its terrorist issues.

As if maybe someone has the idea that planting bombs in civilian populations has suddenly become a legitimate negociation tool.
France also has an incredibly contentious minority population, with anti-semitism and Islamic unrest both proving to be a consistent problem. Furthermore, with the dubious link between Al Qaeda and Iraq yet to be proven, I don't know that France's stance on the war has anything to do with it. They have all the ingredients for terrorism right there in their own country, despite their support for the war on actual Al Qaeda terrorism in Afghanistan.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 07:59 PM       
So, what your saying is, America's actions in Iraq may not be responsible for every Muslim terrorist attack in Europe?

Maybe countries with Muslim sections might have troubles all their own?
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:17 PM        Re: Bomb found on French train track
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I just thought it was interesting that a country that didn't side with the US in Iraq also happens to have its terrorist issues.

As if maybe someone has the idea that planting bombs in civilian populations has suddenly become a legitimate negociation tool.


We've been having "terrorism issues" , and terrorist threats have indeed been used for a looong time - like, the '70s, and islamic terrorism since the '80s.
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:17 PM       
I think the war on Iraq, much like the assassination of Yassin, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Islamic radicals who hate the West. I think invading Iraq guaranteed the proliferation of terrorism rather than hindering it. However, Europe itself has had a growing "problem" with muslim extremism. France in particular is a hotbed waiting to explode, hence the recent government actions against the expression of religion in public places.
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:24 PM       
what the fuck is the AZF?? angry zebra fuckers??
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:28 PM       
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what the fuck is the AZF?? angry zebra fuckers??

As far as I know they (the "terrorists") have not disclosed it - but it might refer to the name of the chemicals factory that accidentally blew up in Toulouse september 2001, the 21st.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:30 PM       
I feel I should say that I'm glad no one was hurt.

I'm just saying maybe our problems go a bit deeper than "They invaded Iraq so we will blow them up". Maybe Al Queda saying things like that has more to do with dividing us and less to do with recruiting.
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Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:36 PM       
Our islamic terrorism issues existed long before Al Qaïda ever did, so mainly we do not feel the need to automatically relate both.
Here's something thatb seems very interesting for those who happe,n to read french :
http://bastiat.net/fr/cercle/rencontres/2003-4.html
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