Agencies step up counterterrorism measures 

U.S. Intelligence agencies are stepping up counterterrorism measures as the Christmas holiday and New Year approach, said White House Chief Counterterrorism advisor John Brennan Wednesday.

"As we enter the peak of the Christmas holiday season, (the federal government) is doing everything to prevent terrorists from carrying out cowardly attacks,"  Brennan said.

The 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have been focused on gathering information that could thwart possible planned attacks similar too the foiled attacks planned by al Qaeda in Great Britain, when authorities there disrupted a cell of 16 men prepared to carry them out.

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