Government implements new terror alert system
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce implementation of the new terror threat levels on Wednesday.
April 20th, 2011
09:06 AM ET

Government implements new terror alert system

The federal government on Wednesday implements a new terror alert system that will replace the color-coded terror alerts put in place after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"The National Terrorism Advisory System, which was developed in close collaboration with our federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners, will provide the American public with information about credible threats so that they can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

While the color-coded system had five levels of alerts, the new NTAS will have only two - "elevated threat," which "warns of a credible terrorist threat" to the U.S., and "imminent threat,"  which "warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorist threat," according to a Department of Homeland Security statement.

Any alert will automatically expire after a specific time, although alerts could be extended if new information shows a threat persists, DHS said.

DHS released a sample alert that shows how future releases will be formulated.

The department is asking the public to watch for any suspicious activity, incorporating the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's trademark slogan "If You See Something, Say Something" into its alerts.

"We know that the best security strategy is one that counts on the American public as a key partner in securing our country," Napolitano said in the statement.

Looking at how the two systems would rate U.S. security today, Wednesday, April 20, the DHS website says under the old system the threat level is "elevated, or yellow;" under the new system, it lists no alerts.

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Filed under: National security • Security • Terrorism
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Joey

    Va fai a Napoli.
    I don't trust anything Napolitano says ever since "the system worked."

    April 20, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Don't worry about it. This entire administration is being judged on a curve. Expect less than.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. jinksto

    Big Sis at it again. Next Step: Only one threat-level ... "TERROR! Do What We Tell You."

    April 20, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Former Marine

      Right...because the last system made more sense. What did orange mean again? What about blue? Red? Oh Crap, it's a Mauve day, RUN! The new system is designed to make sense. If there is no threat, like 90% of the time, there is no alert level. The old system kept us at "elevated" most of the time, how does that make sense again? Oh, right, it was designed by Bush, sense was something he was never capable of.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TvNYC

    This is all BS. I believe this country is not safe as anybody could buy a gun and start shooting so do me a favor politicians, as you are mostly greedy ones, get on your knees and pray for your sins to be forgiven just like all of us. Your not anymore special than us, neither are them celebrities. Most of the wealthy are straight evil but there are down to earth rich people also. Just like everything else, so pray as this world is about to turn to a more violent and disaster prone year. Get ready but do not fear, just pray for each other and love another!

    April 20, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • iBabble

      OK, now that is one fine rant!

      April 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I agree 100% Amen!

      April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • noybizz

      Most of the wealthy are "straight evil"? What a self-righteous steaming crock. You want to rationalize your own failure to achieve, fine. But it's disingenuous (at best) to impugn others for not failing as you have.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • finalturismo

      Ya i have a few fire arms, and i know i could walk into a store and blow people away if i wanted to..... but iam not going to... lol and i know i could get away with it too. the only way to be truly protected is to give up your rights and we know what that leads to....

      April 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo Hex

      "Anyone could buy a gun and start shooting... so get on your knees and pray."

      You do that. I'll be the one running, ducking, and surviving.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve Lindsey

    Sounds like the Ron White system:

    Level 1: Find your helmet
    Level 2: Put on your damn helmet.

    Big Sis is watching you ... <;-}

    April 20, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Who is Ron White?

      April 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      He is a comedian

      April 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |

      That's EXACTLY what i was thinking when i read this. Love Ron White

      April 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • John R

      Woke up tired, to a cell phone call from 'Mom' at 7AM, after just a few hours of sleep...and had a glass of red wine before bed.

      Your joke make my day.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. anonarchist

    Comming soon, TSA summary executions.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. good times roll

    The close collaboration of state and local officials along with janet, came up with a good system here.
    Much easier to understand. Like a traffic light.
    After the hedonistic spending on terror of the bush era, the American People were ready for a less costly system. And lets be frank, let me just say, make no mistake, the bottom line is, at the end of the day, this change needed to be made in days not weeks.
    God bless America.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Just sayin

      Reduce your word usage footprint...

      April 20, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      @good times roll: I hope you're being sarcastic...

      April 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I'm not sure that you understand what hedonistic means.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    Shouldn't there be a thrd level in there somewhere..."No threat"? Are we to assume that our government believes that we will always be under a terrorist threat for the rest of existence?

    April 20, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle Barrett

      "No threat" is implied if an alert hasn't been issued. Would you like a "Everything's Peachy" alert every morning?

      April 20, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Just sayin

      I think its adequate. Weather alerts consist of, for example, hurricane watch or hurricane warning. If one of the alerts are not issued it's understood that a hurricane is not on the way.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Did you read the last sentence of the article?

      April 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. good times roll

    And just to ensure this bill has the unilateral, bypartisan cooperation of the republicans. A ryder has been attached to increase funding for defense and end funding for abortion. That should effectively keep everyone safe, happy and secure.
    Except for those damn welfare people. We will get them though. We know they have strived their whole lives to be lazy worthless losers.
    A vibrant capitalist economy has no place for those who will not work for less then subsistence wages or live in mud huts.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. American

    All the terror comes from the US government! We are awake!

    April 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sutler

    Level 1 – You're screwed
    Level 2 – See Level 1

    April 20, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. good times roll

    And the economies of India and China are continuing to gain traction because of this important alert system change.
    As we all know, demand for products in the worlds two largest nations means price of food and gasoline will be going down.
    See rule no.1.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Icepick

    So, where does strip-searching six-year-olds fit into this new system?

    April 20, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Don't get your hopes up, Ice.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Janet

    Terror Alert – "Imminent Threat"

    Take all measures to protect yourself. DO NOT look at my picture at the top of this article. I forget to put on make-up, forgot the globs of anti wrinkle cream and my hair looks like some nazi punk styled it.

    This a Imminent Threat to your safety and well being. Protect yourself, DO NOT look at that picture.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • secure border

      Janet would be a better VP candidate than Biden and way more attractive then the dumb Alaskan.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Napolitano and Justice Kagan are in vitro twins!

      April 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Your comments remind me of Carly Fiorina knocking Barbara Boxer's hair style. Can we elevate the conversation beyond what people look like? Or better yet, let's see a picture of you and let's us decide if you are worthy to post comments based on your looks.

      April 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      @mark one must be you mom and the other your aunt...I'm sure their will appreciate the KiA momemt

      April 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    System was fine, but what the heck. It's not their money, it's ours. They know there is a never ending supply of taxpayers money, they will just raise our taxes. What a JOKE... Why are they not held accountable?

    April 20, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. super saiyan 4 gogeta

    i like the old one better. example this new one goes somethin like this "level 1 you might be under attack might not dont worry. level 2 your under attack" at least the old one had like 5 levels. im a democrat but i dont like this new system.. WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

    April 20, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
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