What Does France’s Highest ‘Attack Emergency’ Security Alert Level Mean in Wake of Nice Stabbing?

Three people were reportedly killed and several injured in a stabbing attack in Nice, France, on Thursday, less than two weeks after the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty in Paris over his display of cartoons featuring Prophet Mohammad, with the country elevating its current alert level.

france raised its national alert to the highest level on Thursday in the wake of a knife attack in the city of Nice.

Prime Minister Jean Castex slammed the attack, which resulted in at least one victim having their throat slit, as being “as cowardly as it is barbaric”.

Castex informed parliament that in the wake of the deadly events he had decided to raise France’s Vigipirate security alert system to the highest, “attack emergency” level.

‘Plan Vigipirate’

France’s anti-terrorism warning system, known as “Plan Vigipirate”, consists of three levels.

The name is an acronym of the French words for “vigilance and protection of installations against the risk of terrorist bombing attacks”. France’s national security alert system that was established in 1978 by President Valery Giscard d’Estaing.

While updated several times, before 2014 the system defined four levels of threats, represented by five colors: white, yellow, orange, red, scarlet.

Each level called for specific security measures, such as increased police or police/military mixed patrols in subways, train stations and other vulnerable locations.

In February 2014 the levels were simplified to ‘vigilance’ and ‘attack…

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