Japan has issued an alert warning its citizens of possible terrorist attacks in Europe by al-Qaida or other groups.

The warning followed an alert from the US, informing travellers that attackers may use “a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests” in Europe.

France and Britain have backed the US security statement, which said that “current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organisations continue to plan terrorist attacks.”

Now Japan has also urged its citizens living or travelling in Europe to exercise caution at possible attack targets, such as government and police facilities, public transport systems and tourist spots.

Intelligence officials in the US and Europe have said that a small cell of potential terrorists hiding in North Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal region, is preparing an attack that could be as devastating as the 2008 raids in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people.

Last week, European governments began warning of a possible terrorist attack after it was reported that intelligence agencies in Germany, France, the UK and the US foiled an attempted strike on a series of European cities.

In Britain, the threat of terrorism has been listed as “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Read the full US travel alert here: travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_europe.html

Related: Mumbai-style terror plot uncovered

Frankie Mullin