Iraqi authorities have obtained confessions from captured insurgents that could give insight on a possible terror plot.
Two unnamed senior officials said the insurgents claimed al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the United States and Europe during the Christmas season.
Iraqi interior minister Jawad al Bolani told the Associated Press the botched bombing in central Stockholm last weekend was among the alleged plots.
He called the claims "a critical threat."
The FBI and Homeland Security Department have alerted state and local law enforcement to be wary of suspicious behavior.
Western counterterrorism officials are usually on high alert during the holiday season, especially after last year's failed attack by "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas.