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No intelligence found by US on Christmas, New Year terror plots this year


December 17, 2011 - Washington

For the first time in more than a decade, there is "no active intelligence" suggesting a possibility of a terror attack aimed at spoiling Christmas and New Year's celebrations, the US counter-terrorism officials have said.

Officials from five American agencies, however, said there is growing concern that Al Qaeda is targeting next summer's London Olympics.

According to an official, the threat level is considered "high," although there is no specific information pointing to an attack on the games, ABC News reports.

"They do not want to expend any operatives or resources now on anything else, other than the Olympics," said the official.

According to the report, in a recent teleconference involving American law enforcement and intelligence agencies, officials reported that electronic intercepts and human sources had turned up no evidence of a pending threat over the next few weeks.

In fact 'there are explicit discussions that nothing should be scheduled for the holiday period," the official said.

US counter-terrorism officials are still going to an "informal heightened alert status" given past Al Qaeda efforts around the end of the year.

Officials said they remain concerned about retaliatory attacks for the deaths of Osama bin Laden and radical Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

"We are not letting our guard down," said an official, pointing out that specific and credible threat information often does not emerge until days before a particular event.

ANI

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