Edward Cody
Washington Post
September 28, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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When an unclaimed package was spotted in a busy Paris subway station Monday, police immediately diverted trains, ordered thousands of frustrated travelers into the street and dispatched a bomb squad to test for explosives.

Within half an hour, the armor-suited specialists had determined there was no bomb. Train and subway passengers flooded back into the Saint Lazare station, rail lines re-opened and France’s increasingly nervous anti-terrorism authorities breathed a sigh of relief.

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The alert was short-lived but the message was clear: France has the jitters over the possibility of a terrorist attack. In a country where people sometimes make fun of precautions taken in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government has gone out of its way in recent days to warn repeatedly that terrorists may be planning a new attack in France.

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