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Al Qaeda offshoot trains Norwegian to attack West, AP report says

Norwegian man received terrorist training from Al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen and "is awaiting orders to carry out an attack on the West," officials told the Associated Press news agency.

yemen al qaeda obama 2012 5 17Enlarge
An image taken with a mobile phone allegedly shows an armed vehicle driving in Loder, in the restive southern Abyan province, as clashes continued between Al Qaeda militants and the Yemeni army forces on May 16, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

A Norwegian man has received terrorist training from a Yemen-based offshoot of al Qaeda and "is awaiting orders to carry out an attack on the West" according to an exclusive report from the Associated Press that was confirmed by officials from three different European security agencies.

"We believe he is operational and he is probably about to get his target," one security official told the AP on condition of anonymity. "And that target is probably in the West."

The official said the man has no criminal record, "not even a parking ticket" which would enable him to travel undetected internationally.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr said al Qaeda, has been trying to train western operatives for some time who can travel freely in European and the United States.

It is believed the latest case involves a man in his 30s who converted to Islam in 2008 and traveled to Yemen, where he receive terror training, the AP wrote.

CBS reported the suspect fits the profile of earlier terrorists like Najibullah Zazi, a Denver airport shuttle drive who went to Pakistan for al Qaeda training and later helped plan the bombing of New York City's subway system. The news agency noted Faisal Shahzad also went to Pakistan from his native Connecticut and returned with plans to bomb New York's Times Square.

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No one has been formally arrested or accused of a crime, the AP wrote, and both the CIA and FBI declined to comment.

CBS reported US officials have no specific information about the suspect.

Trond Hugubakken, a spokesman for Norway's PST security service, said in February, PST found "several" Islamic extremists have traveled from Norway to training facilities in war-torn areas.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120625/al-qaeda-offshoot-trains-norwegian-attack-west-ap-report-says