U.S. officials have “specific, credible but unconfirmed” information about a potential al Qaeda threat against the United States coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” a senior administration official told CNN Thursday.

The official said the plot was believed to involve three individuals, including a U.S. citizen. U.S. officials believed the threat was a vehicle laden with explosives, but “the intelligence picture is not completely formed,” the official said. “Not enough is known about the potential operatives and their plotting.”

The threat is believed to entail a vehicle bomb, but “we cannot rule out other means,” a U.S. official said.

Barbara Starr, Mike M. Ahlers and Lesa Jansen for CNN.

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U.S. officials have "specific, credible but unconfirmed" information about a potential al Qaeda threat against…