France launch security alert app for Euro 16 tournament
This picture on June 8, 2016 in Dinard, western France, shows a smartphone screen reading "Around me, No ongoing incidents", displayed on a page of the SAIP (Systeme d'Alerte et d'Information aux populations, or Population Alert and Information System), a new smartphone app launched by the French government, designed to alert users of possible terror attacks amid growing security concerns over the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. DAMIEN MEYER / AFP
The French government is launching a special "security alert" application for downloading ahead of the Euro '16 football tournament that kicks-off on Friday, the Interior Ministry confirmed Wednesday.
The application is destined to warn of an imminent terror alert or other major disaster at a time when around eight million extra visitors are expected here for the football extravaganza.
France is under the highest terror alert since the November attacks that killed 130 people in the Paris area, bomb and shooting attacks claimed by so-called Islamic State (IS).
The terrorist organisation has threatened more operations against France and there is a huge mobilisation here to provide security, with at least 13,000 troops already deployed around the country in addition to tens-of-thousands of police and other security personnel.
Despite the threats, the government has decided to allow mass open-air screenings of games around the country and these potential "soft targets" worry security experts who say stadiums can provide screening and security but open air "fan zones" are more vulnerable venues.
The "security alert" application called #SAIP will give information in French and English and is designed to give a warning to users around 15 minutes after a confirmed threat. It will cover Paris and eight different geographic zones in France where the football matches are planned to be held.