The United States raised the terrorism threat level Sunday to code orange, or high, for the financial services sector of New York City, northern New Jersey and Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced.
The potential targets include the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, Prudential Financial in northern New Jersey and the Citigroup Building and New York Stock Exchange in New York, Ridge said.
"The quality of this intelligence, based on multiple reporting streams in multiple locations, is rarely seen and is alarming in both the amount and specificity of the information," he told reporters at a news conference.
New York has remained at orange alert since the color-coded system was put in place after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The rest of the nation remains at threat level yellow, or elevated.
Ridge said the plans appeared to include car and truck bombs, aimed at "the attempted physical destruction of these facilities."
He said there was no indication the threat was imminent.
Buffer zones around the buildings are likely to be expanded to ensure unauthorized vehicles are not able to approach them, and other actions to strengthen security have begun, Ridge said.