Millennium Bug Watch

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The Independent Online
JEWISH SOLDIERS last week arrested Jonathan Tidi, a 41-year-old American immigrant, at his home in the Judean foothills just a couple of miles from the "Green Line" separating the Israeli and Palestinian settlements. According to The Jerusalem Post, the arrest followed rumours that Tidi was hoarding weapons to attack Palestinians, a move that could rapidly escalate into widespread bloodshed.

At his home they found a number of weapons, including an M-16 assault rifle, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, hand grenades and night-vision goggles.

But on his arrest, Tidi - a former US Army Ranger - told police he wanted the weapons not to attack Palestinians, but because he feared "total chaos" in 2000 because the millennium bug would shut down "world computer systems". Also, he thought the whole country would be overrun next year by Christian pilgrims.

Someone found his case persuasive - after two days' questioning Tidi was released, as the police decided he had not stocked the arms to attack Palestinians. Presumably, the Israeli security forces must also be expecting "total chaos".