Protection has been heavily stepped up around France's First Lady Carla Bruni amid fears she has become the 'priority target' of a terrorist assassination plot, reports Daily Mail, London.
Security services believe President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife is now 'high up' on Al Qaeda's hitlist of potential VIP victims in France, it was revealed today.
Fears for Bruni's safety come after Osama bin Laden issued a chilling personal threat to kill French citizens in revenge for France backing the war in Afghanistan and their new law banning the burqa.
The Al Qaeda terror chief released an audio tape last week warning: 'It is a simple equation: If you kill, you will be killed.'
Days later, Greek police intercepted a booby-trapped parcel bomb addressed to President Sarkozy.
France's Pure People website said it had information that the Presidential Protection Team had now received further 'credible intelligence' that the threat to the couple had increased.
The website said: 'Security has always been high around the First couple, but we have learned that it has now been heavily increased around Ms Bruni herself.
'There is no question of her ever going out without an armed escort and details of all her movements are being kept secret until the very last moment.
'Her schedule is randomly changed and even her family and friends are not being told where she is going until she arrives.
'From now on, neither will she travel in the same car or other means of transport as her husband.'
Bruni's immediate family including sister Valeria, mother Marisa, her nine-year-old son Aurelian, and the boy's father Raphael Enthoven were also being given extra security details, the website said.
It added: 'Their movements and wherabouts are being kept secret at all times.
'It is inconvenient for Ms Bruni and her loved ones, but the security services believe these drastic measures are currently necessary for their safety.'
The Elysee Palace did not comment on details of security arrangements for the president and his wife.
The security alert comes a month after France's domestic intelligence cheif Bernard Squarcini warned that the recent burqa ban had 'seriously increased' the threat of a major terrorist attack on French soil and that 'all the red lights were flashing'.
'France's role in Afghanistan, its foreign policy and the debate over the law banning the burqa have all increased the risk,' he said.
'We foil an average of two planned attacks per year, but one day or another, we're going to get hit.
'The risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher and that objectively, there are reasons for worry.'
France voted through a new law banning the burqa last month, leading to threats of revenge from radical Islamic groups.
Leaders of Al Qaeda's North African network wrote on an Islamic extremist website: 'We will seek dreadful revenge on France by all means at our disposal, for the honour of our daughters and sisters.'
French security chiefs said this week that government agencies were in a state of contstant readiness to thwart all terrorist threats and the terror alert level remained high.