Homeland Security

Johnson introduces updates to terror watch system

Jeh Johnson

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said a new terrorism bulletin serves as a common baseline for the public because it is not just shared with law enforcement.

In an effort to increase communication with the public about terrorism threats, the Homeland Security secretary announced the introduction of the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin.

"We are in a new environment where terrorist-inspired attacks are things that could happen with little or no notice," Secretary Jeh Johnson said during remarks at the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Dec. 16.

In particular, DHS is concerned about the uptick in terrorist groups' use of the Internet to "inspire and recruit" potential attackers, according to a DHS announcement.

The bulletin will serve as the intermediate-level advisory alert. It will share terrorism-related information with the public and any precautionary measures to take, and it will be updated as needed. The system also includes elevated and imminent alerts to convey a sense of the seriousness of a potential threat. More guidance on airport security will be introduced soon.

National Terrorism Advisory System notification streams include a Twitter feed, which so far has been inactive, a Facebook page and data feeds and widgets for use on third-party websites.

Johnson said the new bulletin provides as common baseline for people at the federal level and the public because it is not just shared with law enforcement. He added that Americans should attend events and travel this holiday season but remain vigilant given the new threat environment. He said there will be heightened security during the upcoming break.

"People are anxious now," Johnson said. "They should know and need to know what our government is doing to protect our homeland."

About the Author

Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.


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