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Terrorist Threat Color Chart Changes

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, a color alert system was implemented in order to keep the public informed as to the status of any terrorist threats to the country. This system consists of five colors, from green representing a low threat of terror to red, indicating an imminent threat to our safety. In the past four years, the level of alert in the airline sector has not changed from orange, signifying a “high risk” level of threat. Because of this lack of change in status, the ambiguity and unknown recommendations to take during the different levels of threat, the Department of Homeland Security is considering an overhaul of the alert system that not only describes the threat, but also gives suggestions as to how people should best protect themselves.

Homeland security has been on the minds of the public ever since it became an official U.S. government agency after the 9/11 attacks. The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for preventing terrorist attacks on American soil that can occur through various modes, such as airline attacks or even “home-grown” terrorist attacks perpetrated by citizens of the U.S. or those who have immigrated to the U.S. Homeland security boasts a variety of different mission support centers to help fulfill the security needs of the nation including science and technology, training, intelligence, medical, civil rights, fraud detection and many others. Through the experience and collective sharing of resources among these missions, the Department of Homeland Security and homeland security professionals are able to help keep the U.S. safe from terrorist attacks.


As time goes on and our national security needs change due to technological advances, foreign policy or other factors, the Department of Homeland Security is addressing the issues that concern the public. The old “terror threat” color chart may be coming to an end, but there are still plenty of threats, and plenty of ways to keep the nation safe. The Department of Homeland Security is growing as new threats come to the surface and old methods of dealing with terrorist threats become antiquated or confusing to the public. With the latest additions to the TSA screening process on airlines, including full body scanners and thorough "pat downs," it is clear that the ways in which the public is able to address their own security concerns are changing in ways yet to be completely understood.

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