Is Bin Laden Plotting a Y2K Catastrophe?

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Madeleine Albright knows a really good reason to stay home for New Year's Eve, but she's not going to tell you exactly what it is. Hinting that there is danger of a "Bin Laden-related" terrorist action (isn't everything these days?), the State Department over the weekend warned those Americans living beyond U.S. borders that they are in considerable danger this holiday season. Though officials say they have received word of a specific threat, Washington isn't saying where Bin Laden or other terrorists may strike, simply asking all Americans living or traveling abroad to take extra precautions — avoiding crowds and keeping a low profile are two suggestions offered — between now and the first week of January.

"There have been a slew of threat reports over the past few weeks, mainly Bin Laden-related," an official told the Los Angeles Times. "And then one emerged in the past couple of days that seemed much more credible and specific than all the others." Global cautions to the millions of Americans spread around the globe are issued each time the U.S. does anything that may be deemed offensive to terrorists anywhere, which makes them fairly commonplace: Sunday's was the fifth since October. But senior officials went out of their way to warn the media not to treat this as a case of crying wolf. "This sounds to me larger than many of the ones we've put out," an official told the Los Angeles Times. "You don't want to over-alarm them, but if we have this information, there's an obligation to tell them." Some specifics would be nice.