Department of Homeland Security to Review United States Terrorism Alert System

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson: ‘The global terrorist threat has evolved.’

The Department of Homeland Security wants to make changes to the United States’ terrorism alert system.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama’s top homeland security official, has ordered a review of the nation’s alert system as a result of the increasing number of threats of attacks within the United States, according to Government Executive.

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The two-level National Terrorism Alert System has never been used after it was installed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the DHS wants to jumpstart the system.

“I’ve asked our folks to consider whether we should revise that system to accommodate how the terrorism threat has evolved,” Johnson said Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C. “That review is underway now.”

The old system used green-to-red terrorism alerts, but the current system’s only two states are an “elevated threat” — a credible threat against the U.S. — and “imminent threat” — that’s a credible, specific and impending threat against the nation.

The old system took criticism for holding the nation under a constant orange alert for seemingly no reason. Now the DHS is being criticized for not issuing enough alerts, especially considering the growing number of threats within U.S. borders.

“There is a new reality,” Johnson said. “The global terrorist threat has evolved from terrorist-directed to terrorist-inspired attacks.”

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