Colombian intelligence has detected a plan by FARC rebels to assassinate former President Alvaro Uribe, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said Tuesday.

Pinzon told reporters that he and police director Gen. Rodolfo Palomino met with Uribe earlier to advise him of the plot and arrange for additional security.

An elite unit of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, is behind the plan, the defense minister said.

President Juan Manuel Santos ordered that all necessary steps be taken to ensure the safety of Uribe and family, who are currently protected by a team of some 300 people, Pinzón said.

The head of state also instructed the security forces to track down "the ones responsible for these threats," the minister said.

Uribe's 2002-2010 tenure was marked by a series of offensives against the FARC and smaller rebel groups, illegal spying on judges, reporters, rights activists and politicians - including members of his own party - and a scandal over the army's murder of some 2,000 civilians falsely presented as guerrillas killed in combat.

Though the men were originally political allies, Uribe has been highly critical of Santos, especially over the president's peace negotiations with the FARC. 

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