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Iraqi terror chief: al Qaeda plan for holiday-time attack

Al Qaeda is planning attacks in the United States, Britain and Europe around Christmas, one year after a failed attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound passenger plane, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday.

Al Qaeda is planning attacks in the United States, Britain and Europe around Christmas, one year after a failed attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound passenger plane, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday.

Mjr. Gen. Dhiya Hussein, the interior ministry’s counterterrorism chief, said a captured militant from the Iraqi wing of al Qaeda revealed the plot during interrogations. The insurgent was among a group of 39 men arrested in a widespread swoop on top militants last month.

Authorities say last month’s raids, which led to the arrest of one of al Qaeda’s top officers in Iraq as well as its leadership in the western province of Anbar, dealt a blow to the group’s local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq.

“One of the [men] confessed that ISI will execute attacks inside the United States, Britain, and Europe,” Hussein said. “They were making preparations for this goal.”

In the United States, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent an alert on Wednesday to local law enforcement authorities to be on the alert for potential terrorist threats during the holiday season, a federal law enforcement official said.

 
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