US terror alert system explained

The british Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week its country’s threat level would be raised to ‘Critical’ for the moment, after the deadly suicide attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

The current United States terror alert system, known as the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), problems with their alerts, as “alerts” and “bulletins.” The Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAC), which were of different colours to indicate the threat level severity, is no longer used.

Here is how the NTAS work:


These are issued “when there is specific, credible information about a terrorist threat,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says on their website.

Increased warnings are issued when there is “some general information about the timing and purpose,” said the department. Ominous warnings, meanwhile, are for threats thought to be “credible, specific, and imminent in the very short term.”

Alerts can be provided in the area, transportation method, or the infrastructure that may be affected, the DHS says, and possible safety measures.



These are a step down from warnings, and provide a broader or more general information about terrorism, trends, events, and potential threats” if there is not a specific or credible threat in the direction of the US, the DHS says.

They can explain what the problem is, how the U. S. is the fight against terrorism, and how the people can help in the fight against terrorism, according to the ministry.

Determining the type of opinion to issue

The DHS says the decision to send NTAS opinions by considering intelligence assessments, as well as the risks to the public and critical infrastructure.”

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