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. chillendmost

    Get rid of Islam no need for Terror Alert

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

      Your implying every islanic is a terrorist. This is like calling every christian a anti-scientific conservative idiot.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Get rid of American intrusion in the middle east, no more terror alerts.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Hey, I am a Chrisitian and I believe in science, just not all of it. The two are not mutually exclusive. And remember Is La M
      is not a religion of peace.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. emperorobama

    Does the Gov think we really pay attention to this crap? I mean come on really, if your enemy says they are attacking do you believe them? It's amazing how stupid the terrorists errrr government thinks we are.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Phil

    Typical Liberal move. Yeah lets get rid of the system, and have the MINIMUM alert is "Elevated" How else are they going to scare the rest of the country to go along with their horrid policies.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • repel all borders

      Is this phil or Phillip?
      Washington Post reporter used " event horizon of a cultural black hole" in Charlie Sheen article.

      April 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald Hussein Reagan

      Either you have an exceedingly short memory or your Ideology has blinded you if you think the left is the "Party of Fear." Or, I guerss it's possible you're jealous that the Democrats are using some of the tried and true Bush tactics.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      You mean in the way that Dubya's team manipulated the populace with strategically placed terror alerts?

      Oh, yeah, we need more of that. [/sarcasm]

      April 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Thomas

    The two levels should be called "be afraid" and "stay home." Is this crap really referred to as a terror alert system? Talk about fear mongering.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      Where were you 2001-2008? Not sure you know the definition of fear mongering, Thomas.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Obama Bin Badagin

    This woman is an idiot. Affirmative action will kill us all.

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

      Oh stop! There wouldn't be wheet women bosses without it!

      April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keith

    Arabs don't scare anyone but the weak.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. calichill

    Great system. Keeping it simple and so people get a clear idea of what is going on.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Redeye Dog

    Well, this makes total sense!! In effect, the two new levels are:

    Level 1 – Bend over.
    Level 2 – Kiss your a$$ goodbye..

    Thanks for the heads up, Ms Napolitano.....

    April 20, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bob in Pa

    This woman is a cluster.
    Why not just green and brown (time to change your undies).

    April 20, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Its so funny that the old system didnt work worth a dam, but now they are replacing it with a "NEW" system. Hey RETARDS, the old system was a joke and your new system is a joke too. But I guess you've got to justify those budgets huh? Department of Homeland Security is an absolute waste of money and resources, and that is a FACT.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. vbscript2

    Are these alert levels defined in terms of how many of our rights will be violated in airport security checkpoints?

    Such as:
    Level 1: Nude photography and/or fondling
    Level 2: Strip search, cavity search, then you still don't get to board.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Observer

    The old system was Bush's way of keeping people constantly in fear. Good riddance.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redeye Dog

      So this must be Obama's "way of keeping people constantly in fear." Change & hope....

      April 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    OH MY GOD!!! I DON"T KNOW HOW AFRAID TO BE ANYMORE!!!!!
    Maybe Dick Cheney can set up a private company that will take over the service.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    Bush only used yellow and red anyway, and then never told anyone what to do in response to changes, so what's the difference?

    April 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. como1

    Janet, why were the TSA people interested in my wife's 14 carat gold watch band yesterday and why did she have her armmpit checked during screening? I would not have believed it had I not seen it for myself. So a blue eyed blond haired American woman gets an extra screeing and a very weird screening at that.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
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