Thursday, December 23, 2004 - Al Qaida prepares for major attack over Christmas - Several agencies have intercepted electronic communications pointing to Al Qaida's plans to launch a major attack over the next two weeks, Western intelligence sources said. The sources said Al Qaida was planning to use Islamic subcontractors to carry out major attacks against civilian targets in Europe. Al Qaida has been gathering assets in several European Union countries and Russia over the past two months, the sources said.