FBI Director Robert Mueller said that just because the French yesterday arrested 12 people linked to al Qaeda doesn't mean American tourists in Europe can breathe easy. At an intelligence reform conference in Washington Wednesday hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center and led by former 9/11 commissioners Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton, Mueller said there's been "no substantial change" in the security situation despite the arrests in Marseille and Bordeaux.
"The threats" cited in a warning to American tourists still exist, he said. The arrests came two days after the State Department issued a travel alert for Americans in Europe, worried about possibility of a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom. Mueller said that in addition to those in Europe, other countries of concern in terms of al Qaeda recruitment include Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Urban transit systems in American cities have also been put on alert.
In the French arrests, police seized "some weapons, including a Kalashnikov and a pump-action shotgun, as well as ammunition."