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. RB2

    Most of these politicians are asleep at the wheel anyway. By the time their terror alerts do anything its too late. These are basic alarm systems to let the rest of the country know a part of the country was just attacked. We probably spent billions for this "on/off switch" idea too.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bvilleyellowdog

    The regressives need their "All terror all the time" meme to keep the rabble in line voting against thier own interests. Far more folks are killed by people using cell phones and driving....

    April 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jerry

    More soft shoe dancing by our current administration. Let's stick our head in the sand and maybe all of these terrorist problems will disappear, and the economic problems, and the debt problems, and the bond rating problem, and the illegal immigrant problem, et.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Granite Sentry

    Continuing to do everything we can to minimize the danger and take the pressure off those poor discriminated-against terrorists. http://www.granitesentry.com

    April 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. blue green

    Listen up!
    Hoard food water and duck tape!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reason is wisdom.

    Instead of intending on "making the NTAS more simple to understand", why not just speak openly to the American people about the threats? It seems that the government always wants us to believe they are honest to our saftey, when in reality, it's their misunderstanding and misuse of power that has put us in 'danger' to begin with.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jb1960

    The color codes were only used by Fox for GWB. He couldn't read so the colors made it easier for him. Notice how as soon as he left office they took it off the banner

    April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. liz

    Do these politicians understand that this world is coming to an end??... Pray to jehovah.. You guys have no common sense.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      The planet will endure. We're destroying our own environment. Unfortunately all the Republicans are blaming women for having 23 million abortions and us being short of people for that reason.

      Hello, overpopulation is causing us to run out of, well, everything. Clean air, water, food, and other resources are all in short supply for every one of us. Where would all these imaginary people live? what jobs would they have? how many of them would be on welfare and be receiving public benefits? Who would be complaining loudest about the costs now?

      Best guess, Republicans.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MarciaMarcia

    I'm scared. Hold me?

    April 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan in Michigan

    So, no more "Code Red!"?

    April 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ihaveabridgetosellyou

    If everything was so peachy, then there would be no reason for the TSA to molest you every time you get on a plane. So I guess that means things will never change. Good bye privacy, hello police state. Welcome to the century where fear is the new norm.

    April 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Capt. Blackadder

    "...will provide the American public with information about credible threats so that they can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities."

    Ridiculous statement. Does anyone even alter their daily routine in the slightest on account of these stupid alerts? Does anyone care, AT ALL? What a complete waste of time and resources. Department of Homeland Security? Right... Department of Harassment and Scaremongering, more like.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    I could never get all the pretty colors straight, anyway. With instant news being delivered almost simutaniously with the events as they happen, I don't see the need for terror alert system, anyway, even one that is more simplified. Another money pit, if you ask me.

    Ron White rocks!

    April 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Angered

    Nothing to scare people more than just 2 danger levels. Thank you for try to instill fear into people so that we can have our rights taken away.

    April 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      Trying to wrap my head around how fear takes away my rights, but not coming up with anything, Angered. You see, I knew Dubya was lying and/or misrepresenting all the different 'threats' that allegedly came up every single day during his residency in the White House.

      Don't know about you, but I feel safer with Barack Obama in the Oval Office now. He won't lie about anything to deal with his personal issues or resolve his personal agenda. There's no 'Daddy' baggage hanging over his head, thank the Dear. It's nice not to be jerked around by the US President.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kim

    Can a smelly person be consider a terrorist I work with this women who has body odor its offensive terror level. I wished she use deodorant parfume anything because she just stinks. Im being terrorize by her stench.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      You a real meanie, maybe your boss intentionally placed you there to learn some humility. Try approaching the person it could be an illness...do some volunteer work it teaches you about the dignity of others...and you can bring an office deodorizer and desk fan and
      keep the peace.

      April 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
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