Officials "are very concerned" about new information regarding a planned terror strike on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, CBS News reports, with the plot potentially targeting either New York City or Washington, D.C. The threat is "specific and credible but unconfirmed." Great. What does that mean?

That intelligence agencies across the government has picked up a threat stream from overseas, and that there is a full court press by the FBI, CIA and others to refute or corroborate the information.

Other things you should know about this threat stream:

  • It comes from Pakistan, so you know they aren't fucking around.
  • It's a direct response to the wishes of Osama bin Laden, who had long dreamed of a tenth anniversary commemorative attack.
  • The White House says: "The United States government has already significantly enhanced its security posture in advance of the 9/11 anniversary to protect the country against possible terrorist threats." So our posture is excellent, guys!
  • Earlier in the day, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured) said she had no hard information about the threat, but that there was "a lot of chatter." Chatter Level: Red. For "very chattery."
  • There is a possibility of an attack by "lone wolves" — individual radicals already in the U.S. And don't forget Terror Babies, who are now old enough to be Justin Bieber fans, or possibly Justin Bieber himself.

UPDATE: ABC News reports three individuals are being sought in connection to the threat, which officials now say was launched by the new al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri. One of them is a U.S. citizen; the two others have some kind of U.S. documentation.

[CBS News, Image of Janet Napolitano demonstrating the concept of "chatter" via Getty]