Secretary Napolitano Announces Implementation of National Terrorism Advisory System

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)—a robust terrorism advisory system that provides timely information to the public about credible terrorist threats and replaces the former color-coded alert system.

As part of today’s announcement, Secretary Napolitano released a public guide outlining the new system to the American public, along with an example of an NTAS Alert that would be issued to the public if the government were to receive information about a specific or credible terrorist threat.

 Under NTAS, DHS will coordinate with other federal entities to issue detailed alerts to the public when the federal government receives information about a credible terrorist threat.  NTAS alerts provide a concise summary of the potential threat including geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure potentially affected by the threat, actions being taken to ensure public safety, as well as recommended steps that individuals, communities, business and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to a threat. NTAS Alerts will include a clear statement on the nature of the threat, which will be defined in one of two ways:

  • “Elevated Threat”: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States
  • “Imminent Threat”: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States

Depending on the nature of the threat, alerts may be sent to law enforcement, distributed to affected areas of the private sector, or issued more broadly to the public through both official and social media channels—including a designated DHS webpage (www.dhs.gov/alerts),Facebook, and via Twitter@NTASAlerts.  NTAS alerts and posters will also be displayed in places such as transit hubs, airports and government buildings.  NTAS threat alerts will be issued for a specific time period and will automatically expire. Alerts may be extended if new information becomes available or as a specific threat evolves.

DHS encourages citizens to follow NTAS Alerts for information about threats and take an active role in security by reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities through the “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign.  For more information on the National Terrorism Advisory System or to receive NTAS alerts, visit www.dhs.gov/alerts.

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