"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.
Major General Dhiya Hussein, the interior ministry's counter-terrorism 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, he said.
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.
...Many of those arrested in the latest crackdown had been previously held in U.S. custody and rejoined the insurgency after being released, Iraqi officials have said."