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U.S. Homeland Security Adds New Terror Warning Level

DHA changes its terror alert system following the San Bernardino terror attack.

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Elevated threats. Imminent attacks. Now add information bulletins. Welcome to the newly revamped U.S homeland security alert system.

On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it has streamlined the way it will warn Americans about terror threats, adding “communication bulletins” into a system that was supposed to be even simpler to understand than the infamous color-coded advisories installed after 9/11.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson activated the new National Terrorism Advisory System for the first time Wednesday when he issued the first bulletin warning the public of “self-radicalized actors who could strike with little or no notice” in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks that left 14 dead.

DHS is “especially concerned that terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places,” according to the bulletin. “As we saw in the recent attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, terrorists will consider a diverse and wide selection of targets for attacks.”

Johnson added that there is no current or specific threat about a pending attack.

Under the new DHS scheme, bulletins will be issued to give Americans information on more general threats. It adds to an earlier system, put in place in 2011, of “elevated alerts” — warning of a credible, general threat and mobilizes law enforcement — and “imminent alerts,” signaling an urgent terror plot or that the United States is under attack.

Johnson said the new system marks a “a new phase in the global terrorist threat” as “people are anxious now” in the wake of terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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