U.S. may replace color-coded terror-alert system with more-specific warnings


Greg Miller
Washington Post
November 25, 2010

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The Obama administration is considering abandoning the color-coded terrorism-alert system that became a barometer of the nation’s anxieties after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and replacing it with advisories that provide more detailed guidance on emerging threats.

A proposal drafted by the Department of Homeland Security and submitted to the White House urges a shift toward more-tailored threat warnings and the dismantling of the five-color scheme that was often mocked for alarming people but providing little useful guidance on how they should respond, U.S. officials said.

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“The goal is to replace a system that communicates nothing with a system that communicates precise, actionable information based on the latest intelligence to law enforcement, the private sector and the American public,” said a senior Homeland Security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because deliberations are continuing.

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