Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has announced that a new threat warning system will be unveiled “in the coming days,” NBC news reported Monday morning. It will replace the current warning system, the National Threat Advisory System, which replaced the original color-coded advisories.
DHS secretary Johnson says plans to announce new national threat advisory system soon 'to inform public at large.'
— Ryan Lucas (@relucasz) December 7, 2015
The current system is based on specific, credible threats. It is a two-tier system and has never been used to issue an alert despite multiple terrorist attacks, according to Politico. There was little indication of how a new system might work.
“I believe that in this environment, we need to get beyond that and go to a new system that has an intermediate level to it," Johnson said during a discussion Monday morning with Defense One executive editor Kevin Baron, Politico reported. "And I’ll be announcing soon hopefully what our new system is that I think reflects the current environment and the current realities."
The announcement comes less than a week after a married couple killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, California. The attack is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, as evidence increasingly suggests the couple -- Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik -- may have been radicalized, possibly overseas.
— Judith Hafner (@vantageptstrat) December 7, 2015
Johnson said a new system must be one that "adequately informs the public at large not through news leaks of joint intelligence bulletins to law enforcement, not through leaks from anonymous government officials, but we need a system that informs the public at large what we are seeing, even if what we are seeing could be self-evident to the public."
An older, color-coded system unveiled by former U.S. President George Bush in 2002 in response to the September 11 attacks had five levels, ranging from low (green) to severe (red). That system was replaced in 2011 with a two-tier system.