Despite the palpable level of angst that a source described over an al Qaeda threat against the United States, the national terror threat level remains at “Elevated” or “Yellow” where it has been stuck since 2005.
Information gathered since an attempted airliner bombing on Christmas Day has U.S. officials concerned that al Qaeda in Yemen has “trained and equipped … viable operatives” to strike U.S. targets, including targets unrelated to aviation, a reliable source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
“I have not seen people this ramped up on the terror front like this for probably two years,” the source said. “The palpable level of angst is incredible.”Read more on the new threat
The threat level for the aviation sector didn’t change after the Christmas Day incident it has been at “High” or “Orange” since 2006 when British officials uncovered a plot to use liquid explosives to bring down Transatlantic flights. A security expert calls the current color-coded system “useless.”
“It’s ineffective as communicating to the American public. And it’s obsolete in terms of kind of managing national preparedness levels,” said James Carafano, a homeland security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “It really is useless.”
The system officially known as the Homeland Security Advisory System was implemented in March 2002 just months after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
The terror alert system is most recognizable by a color coded graphic, which includes: Severe (red), High (orange), Elevvated.
NationalTerrorAlert.com will continue to maintain a live web alert, adapting to any new alert, once DHS has made a final decision. For those of you fetauring the alert on your website, we don’t anticipate you having to make any changes.