US to roll out new terror alert system

A SWAT team arrives at the scene of a shooting in San Bernardino. (Doug Saunders/Los Angeles News Group via AP)
A SWAT team arrives at the scene of a shooting in San Bernardino. (Doug Saunders/Los Angeles News Group via AP)

Washington - The Obama administration will announce a new terror alert system "in the coming days", Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Monday.

Johnson said the new alert system will better inform the public about threats to the United States, but he did not provide specific details.

This will be the third terror alert system put in place by the Homeland Security Department since the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. The much maligned colour-coded system was replaced in 2011 by the National Threat Advisory System, which has never been used.

Johnson announced the new alert system during a forum with Defence One magazine. He said the National Threat Advisory System hasn't been used because it requires a "specific, credible threat" to the US in order to be activated. The new effort will include an "intermediate" step, he said.

The plan to change the alert system was announced in the wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which the FBI has declared a terrorism investigation. The FBI is investigating the possibility that shooting suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were inspired by the Islamic State group to carry out the attacks that killed 14 people attending a holiday luncheon at a social services facility.

Johnson said while a specific motive has not been determined in the California case the threat from home-grown radicals or those inspired by foreign groups is a growing concern in part because such attacks may not be discovered in advance. The new terror alert system, he said, better "reflects the current environment and current realities".

"We need a system that adequately informs the public at large ... about what we are seeing, what we are doing and what we are asking the public to do about it," Johnson said.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 7135 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 8232 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.22
(-0.30)
ZAR/GBP
21.20
(-0.06)
ZAR/EUR
19.22
(-0.36)
ZAR/AUD
11.59
(-0.36)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.30)
Gold
1911.54
(+0.36)
Silver
24.78
(+0.42)
Platinum
898.00
(+1.98)
Brent Crude
42.50
(+1.69)
Palladium
2381.49
(+0.77)
All Share
55416.63
(+1.13)
Top 40
50848.91
(+1.14)
Financial 15
10515.15
(+1.34)
Industrial 25
75011.26
(+1.19)
Resource 10
53322.50
(+0.95)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo