PARIS (Reuters) – The French government is raising its terror alert warning to its highest level following the shootings in Moscow, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Sunday after a meeting with senior security and defence officials with President Emmanuel Macron.

Attal said in a post on X that the decision, which comes months before Paris hosts the Olympic Games, was taken “in light of the Islamic State’s claiming responsibility for the (Moscow) attack and the threats weighing on our country”.

France will increase the numbers of soldiers for its ‘Operation Sentinelle’ unit, which deals with handling terrorist threats, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Monday, March 25.

Attal said an extra 4,000 members of the military would be put on standby for the Sentinelle division, on top of the 3,000 military staff already on deployment for Sentinelle, which guards sites such as railway stations, places of worship, schools and theatres across the country.

France’s terror alert system has three levels, and the highest level is activated in the wake of an attack in France or abroad or when a threat of one is considered to be imminent.

It allows for exceptional security measures such as stepped-up patrols by armed forces in public places like train stations, airports and religious sites.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and GV De Clercq

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Eiffel Tower and rooftops of Paris, France, March 16, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo