U.S. officials say they have no specific and credible information about planned terror attacks on the United States, but they have issued an intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement warning terrorists could target large crowds at holiday gatherings.
"Terrorists may seek to exploit the likely significant psychological impact of an attack targeting mass gatherings in large metropolitan areas during the 2010 holiday season which has symbolic importance to many in the United States," the bulletin says, a copy of which was obtained by CNN. "We continue to assess, however, the timing of a terrorist attack depends more on terrorists' readiness to execute an attack rather than a desire to attack on a specific date."
Interpol warns of possible Al-Qaida attacks on US, European targets
Interpol said it had received information from its office in Baghdad about possible Al-Qaida attacks on US and European targets.
"We received information yesterday from the Interpol office in Baghdad about possible threats, especially in the US and Europe, due to orders given to Al-Qaida cells by Al-Qaida commanders," the global police agency said.
All 188 countries which are members of the agency have been informed of the possible threats, said a spokeswoman at Interpol's headquarters in the French city of Lyon.
Europe has been on high alert for several weeks over heightened fears of terrorist attacks in the run-up to the busy Christmas period.
On Saturday, Sweden's first-ever suicide bombing narrowly missed Christmas shoppers.
Many of us are getting jaded to these warnings, but the international concern over this one makes it somewhat unique:
Western security officials have warned that Al-Qaida may be planning attacks in Europe similar to those that struck the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.
The United States issued on October 3 a travel alert for its citizens travelling in Europe, citing the risk of potential terrorist attacks on transportation systems and
Similar alerts were issued by Japan, Sweden, Britain and France.