U.S. to provide specifics in future terrorism alerts

January 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Reuters

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a new system to warn Americans about terrorism threats that will include specific information about the threat, scrapping the widely ignored color-coded alerts.

The old approach was criticized because it lacked specifics about threats and so people ignored the warnings. The new approach will tell the public whether the threat is “imminent” or there is an “elevated” risk of threat.

“The alerts will be specific to the threat. They may recommend certain actions, or suggest looking for specific suspicious behavior. And they will have a specified end date,” Napolitano said.

The new system will be implemented over the next three months and U.S. security officials have apparently quietly tried the new alert approach.

The Transportation Security Administration, responsible for airport security, issued an advisory in December that officers may closely examine insulated drink containers after learning al Qaeda operatives may try to hide explosives in them.

Further, when al Qaeda operatives from Yemen tried to hide bombs in printer toner cartridges aboard cargo planes, the DHS banned large ink and toner cartridges from domestic and U.S.-bound flights.

The current threat level is set at orange (“high”) for the aviation system, which has been a popular target of al Qaeda militants. For the rest of the country, it is yellow (“elevated”). [Full story]

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