Kuala Lumpur, Jan 17 (Agencies): A group of 12 Canadians are reported undergoing militant training at an al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan in apparent plots to carry out terror attacks back home.

The Canadians, who may have converted to Islam, were helped to reach the Darpakhel areas of the lawless tribal belt after joining radical Egyptian group Jihad al-Islami, Hong Kong based Asia Times reported.

Their presence in the camps in Pakistan's tribal belt comes close on the heels of intelligence warnings that al-Qaeda is training armed cadres from several European countries, including Germany, in such camps.

Arab intelligence agencies have already warned that foreign recruits are being trained to carry out terror attacks in European mainland triggering a continent-wide alert.

"The Canadians went to Afghanistan in February 2010;there were 12 of them. After nine months, al-Qaeda's leaders decided to send them to North Waziristan and they reached Darpakhel in November last year," Arif Wazir, a local militant of Darpakhel, was quoted as saying in the report.

The report, quoting well placed Taliban sources, says militant training to Canadians is a part of al-Qaeda plans to recruit, train and launch Western Caucasians in their countries... the aim is to spread the flames of the South Asian war theatre to the West."

"In Afghanistan they received basic jihadi training, while currently they are busy doing some special courses. Their main learning is how to use sophisticated weapons, and how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America.

"They are also learning how to use ordinary material like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives. These militants will then return to their country to execute al-Qaeda's plan of targeting big cities in Canada," Arif Wazir said.

A 30-year-old man Abu Shahid, sporting golden beard, is leading the Canadian group, the report said, adding that those who could not be independently verified and include: Jeam Paull (local name Sadiq Ullah), Leman Langlois (Sana Ullah), James Richard (Abdur Rehman), Otto Paul (Abu Usman), Thomas (Abdullah) and Paul Gall (Hafiz Ullah).

The news article also mentions that various militants of other nationalities are also being trained in North Waziristan and apart from Arab and Central Asian militants, one can find jihadis from the United States, Britain and Germany.