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Americans warned to be vigilant of Xmas terror attacks

By anita nair

Washington, Dec. 24 (ANI): The White House has warned Americans to be on high alert for terror attacks in the U.S. as the Christmas holiday weekend begins and Americans overseas to hand over any suspicious packages to police.

"We remain vigilant to attempts by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to carry out cowardly attacks against innocent men, women and children," the New York Daily News quoted John Brennan, the White House counter-terrorism chief, as saying in a statement Wednesday.

He added: "And we are working very closely with other governments to share all threat information immediately and to coordinate closely our counter-terrorism and security activities."

The warning comes as Americans begin one of the biggest travel weekends of the year and almost a year after the aborted "Christmas Day bombing" plot when a man tried to detonate explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Authorities warned that like every year, terrorists may look to target Americans on the Christmas holiday to "maximize the psychological impact on the American public," according to ABC News.

While authorities seemed to be closely eyeing theoretical plots, on Thursday, American counter-terrorism agencies said they were closely monitoring the situation in Rome, which most believe were connected to an anarchist group in Italy, not an organization affiliated with Al Qaeda.

The impending Christmas season has seemed to heighten terrorism awareness around the world. Earlier this week, British authorities arrested a dozen young men they said were planning to commit terror attacks.

In India, police issued an alert in Mumbai Thursday that four members of a militant group had entered the city and were suspected of plotting an attack on Christmas or New Years, CNN reported.

Mumbai's joint commissioner of police said the suspected terrorists belong to the group blamed for the deadly siege in the city in 2008. (ANI)

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