Qaeda plans US, Europe attack: Interpol

All 188 Interpol member countries have been informed of possible threats.

Lyon: Interpol on Thursday said it had received information from its office in Baghdad about possible al Qaeda attacks on US and European targets.

"We received information yesterday (Wednesday) from the Interpol office in Baghdad about possible threats, especially in the US and Europe, due to orders given to al Qaeda cells by al Qaeda 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.

The al Qaeda-linked website Shumukh al-Islam named the bomber as Taymour Abdelwahab, reportedly born in Iraq, who became a Swedish citizen in 1992 but was radicalised while attending a university in Britain.

He was carrying a cocktail of explosives and is believed to have detonated one charge prematurely on what officials said appeared to be a mission to kill as many people as possible on Stockholm`s busiest pedestrian thoroughfare.

Western security officials have warned that al Qaeda may be planning attacks in Europe similar to those that struck the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.

The United States issued on October 03 a travel alert for its citizens travelling in Europe, citing the risk of potential terrorist attacks on transportation systems and tourist attractions.

Similar alerts were issued by Japan, Sweden, Britain and France.

A plot to blow up cargo planes was uncovered in late October after booby-trapped parcels were found at airports in Dubai and Britain.

US President Barack Obama said yesterday that surging troops into Afghanistan had made "significant progress" in curbing the Taliban and stifling al Qaeda, but warned more time was needed.

Obama said al Qaeda "is hunkered down" finding it harder to recruit, train and plot attacks.

But he warned: "It will take time to ultimately defeat al Qaeda and it remains a ruthless and resilient enemy bent on attacking our country."