The so-called Isis (Islamic State) terror group is plotting Christmas terror attacks across Europe and the UK in retaliation to the French publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, a former MI6 spy agent warns.
Aimen Dean, who spent eight years spying on al-Qaeda before his cover was blown by a US intelligence leak, claims terror cells in jihadi-held areas of Syria and Libya have been plotting an attack for some time.
Speaking to a security conference in London, Dean says terror cells are targetting countries where governments are planning on lifting lockdowns during Christmas.
He said that Abu Omar al-Shishani, an Isis commander who is thought to have survived a US strike in 2016, is planning to send extremists to the West via Turkey and across the Mediterranean from North Africa.
They then plan a series of terror atrocities in the UK, France and Germany, he claimed.
Dean told the International Security Week conference: "The worry is that, according to people who know him, [Shishani] is planning to avenge the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in places like Germany, UK, France and all around Christmas time.
"I'm afraid I'm not bearing good news but we need to be worried about the wave of terror that is coming from northern Syria and Libya for Christmas this year.
"This promise of no lockdown at Christmas has made it a more attractive timeframe for targeting. Already they have been thinking about it, already they have been looking at it and I feel this will be the next target."
Dean, who was a former bombmaker for al-Qaeda, says Shishani is conducting plans from the remaining outposts of Isis.
He also claims Isis has hundreds of millions of dollars in criminal funds stashed away to fund attacks.
Dean's claims come after the French government hit out at religious extremism by closing mosques and dissolving groups like Collective Against Islamophobia, accusing them of having links to radical networks.
Emmanuel Macron has warned against "Islamist separatism" in France and promised to place mosques under greater state control as he called Islam a religion in crisis.