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. emperorobama

    "If You See Something, Say Something"
    Gee, where have I heard this before?? Oh yeah, now I remember.

    Luke 12:53
    They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    April 20, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      wow, that was a leap.

      Personally my first thought was how similar it was to the phrases used during WWII

      April 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. julia Nunn

    I'm with Steve; only TWO levels, and not ever being able to live without being alert to some expected threat every time you go out the door? No wonder this country is the leader in mental illnesses like agoraphobia and bi polarism! Pile on the stress.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. eodays

    Started with 5 levels of fear, now just down to two: Oh My God! and Holy Sh#@!!

    I hate to think how much we spent devising this better "revised" fear system...

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

      Just goes to show you the people get very little in return for their tax dollars a clerk could have thought of that...

      April 20, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. secure border

    With the lack of terror and the stock market booming President Obama is certainly the favorite in 2012. Heck, even house prices are rising.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. sick of the government

    all of you sheep who think this system is going to help stay off my back for all the terror is created by governments to keep all people paying for a war that don't need to be fought.this is BS ant we all need to know it is the government who is the terrorist

    April 20, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Awww...not happy? Simple solution...GTFO.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. DYBO

    I knew that when Bush created the homeland security agency it would be nothing more than another bureaucratic black hole to dump billions of our tax dollars into. He should have kicked butt on the leaders of the CIA and FBI to get them talking and working with each other instead of sitting at their desks with their feet up. If they had done their jobs 9/11 may have been avoided.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • WTC7

      Check out what the coalition of architects say about world trade building 7. Their is no terror threat

      April 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      WTC7, dude we got to hang out together. ive been tellin everyone about bldg. 7. come on over bro, the crack pipe is filled, tons of booze and we can talk about #7. plus add some time in to play with the goddesses. 😉

      April 20, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/critical-mass/

      April 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      @WTC7- THERE is no terrorist threat. Please use the correct word, or your arguments will be discredited very quickly.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. keith

    in 6 mo they'll have a new one out....if I fart once then its no big problem, but if I rip a monster that you can hear across town, then we're gonna need the chemical masks

    April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Andreas Moser

    But I already came up with the perfect terror warning a while ago: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/dont-travel-to-europe/

    April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chad

    Why tell us somethngs about to happen. Just catch the person already.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nash

    Complete nonsense! The US Government really takes its people for fools and them giving in like tihs makes their claim even stronger

    April 20, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Irene

    As the old Soviet joke goes,
    – What should you do when the atomic bomb strikes?
    – Wrap yourself up in a white sheet and crawl to the cemetery, slowly.
    – Why slowly?
    – Don't cause the panic!!!!

    April 20, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarducar

      ..and you should hold the gun away from you so the metal does not drip on your feet.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      That's one I never heard before...creepy yet funny at the same time.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. omegarising

    How ironic. The real terrorists coming out with a new terror alert system. Isn't that like putting the cat to guard the mouse?

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

    I feel safer already, now that threat level yellow is no longer a constant.

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

      The yellow was supposed to make us feel happy.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. guernica

    Am I the only one who noticed some guy probably just got paid a lot of money for redesigning this? I'm sure it was a long, grueling and costly process, that utilized the greatest minds of our era trying to figure out how to remove a few colors and rewrite two WHOLE sentences.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • secure border

      Wasn't necessarily a guy. Women get eqaul pay now ( minus time out pregnant ) thanks to liberal Democrats.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • guernica

      What does this have to do with liberal democrats???

      April 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Women get eqaul pay now ( minus time out pregnant ) thanks to liberal Democrats.'
      you dont agree with equal pay?

      April 20, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      I guess women are supposed to be barefoot and pregnant earning half of what men do while people like him are sitting around with their thumb up their @$$ handling the exhausting redesign of a terror alert system on par with what a first grader could conceive.

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

      Extremely pleased with any pay. What I meant was change for better, does and has come about.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Truthhurts

    "This is the emergency broadcast system. It is only a test" ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNTERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT vERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRRNT ERRNT ERRNT ERRNT

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

      They could have used the old Indian head alert

      April 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • secure border

      LOL

      April 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • John R

      Kentucky Fried...movie, anyone??

      Get this man into cell #2 and give him a drink.

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