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. clark1v

    so much better .... now we will have information we can use.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. im dead anyway

    My homeboy and I just came up with a new threat-level system.

    Level 1: watch out for cops
    Level 2: run niqqa run.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      LOL. That was great! That made my morning.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flyboy

      That's hilarious, but I would make one change. Everyone had to run from the pigs now. No matter what your skin color is now, cops are gonna beat you or shoot you without ever paying a price.

      April 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rem

    Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs. Birthday Party, cheesecake. Jelly been boom! Your symbiotic, patriotic, slam, but neck, right? Right.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. michaelfury

    April 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Will

    This system makes much more sense. If there is a specific threat, they tell us what it is and how good they feel their intel is. Otherwise, go on about your day.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beans

      yeah, sure I'll just go "on about my day" when we're spending $7/gallon for gas and have no alternative because the hybrids aren't affordable or reliable. When the value of the dollar is destroyed, when our country is a police state... yeah.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rodney shears

    Undet the democrates is where all of the planing and attackes has taken place they always tear our military down then a republican has to build it back to protect us

    April 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geronimo Hex

      The military didn't stop 9/11, catch the underpanty bomber, stop the Times Square bombing, or snag the seven or so Muslims arrested in the past year for trying to buy missiles and bombs. You know who did? Cops and intel agencies. So unless you're planning to give the NYPD a carrier group to park in midtown Manhattan then stop acting like the military is the Super Friends and not the black hole of cash that it really is.

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

      Protect you from??? Sleeping air traffic controllers? Higher taxes? Corporate greed? Economic downfall?

      Oh wait, Republicans cause the fear and hatred and Democrats have to clean up the mess and economy after Republicans leave office after handing billion dollar contracts to their buddies!

      April 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Charles in Iowa

    Wow, I didn't even know that we were still using this after the 2004 election cycle, funny how fast they stopped popping up daily once Bush got re-elected.......

    April 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Justin

    So they finally decided that we, as a nation, are no longer at an elementary school intelligence level. Ooooh maybe this one will have pictures so we can see what a terrorist looks like!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim Surrey

    So, does this mean the sleeping air traffic controllers and pilots who are drunk at the wheel would contribute to lesser air security and thus higher threat level?

    What a joke and fear mongering in the name of "terrorism".

    It is our own "highly trained" air traffic controllers and "highly specialized and fully licensed" drunk pilots who are a bigger fear to air traffic than some grand mother with a water bottle.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. blue green

    Hoard food, water, duck tape, lots and lots of duck tape. Plastic sheeting and ladders.
    In case of emergency, lean the ladder against your house. Spread out the plastic sheet and DUCK TAPE it. Then eat the food.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anonymous

    In other words, credible false flag event threat or imminent false flag event threat.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel

    Level 1 – Be very afraid.
    Level 2 – Give up your rights so we can protect you.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. american citizen

    Now we have a 2 level system (creditable or immanent)........ a warning device to keep us in fear? What a load of noodles, hogwash and whatever other word you could think of ! Maybe they can make one to worn us about the politicians? Something like ..., creditable, not creditable, lied, liar, bold face liar, pathological liar......

    April 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gordon atl

    @julia nunn

    We are a leader in mental illnesses because our pharmaceutical industry just loves to make money. Doctors diagnose that crap so they can all make plenty of money. Don't you get it? It's just like a mechanic who fixes a problem that doesn't exist just to make money. They prescribe something for bipolarism, then all of a sudden you get something wrong with your liver. Then you have to buy another med for that. Then that messes up your bladder. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    I'm not saying bipolarism doesn't exist, it's just overblown.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. IceCream

    isn't napolitano a type of ice cream with three favors not two?

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