French President Francois Hollande says France is taking seriously a threat from al-Qaida's North African wing after the Islamist group called for attacks on French interests abroad.
In a video posted online, a purported leader of the terrorist group called on "Muslims around the world" to attack French interests everywhere, saying they are "legitimate targets."
Mr. Hollande told reporters Tuesday that they are taking the threat from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) very seriously. He says that French-led forces have inflicted considerable losses on Islamist groups in Mali, but that AQIM cells exist outside the country and continue to pose a threat.
French troops entered Mali in January to push back militants moving toward the capital and reclaim territory occupied by al-Qaida-linked militant groups.
France has since begun a gradual drawdown to bring their 4,000 troops in Mali down to just 1,000 by the end of the year.