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April 20, 2011

New Terrorism Advisory System Promises Credible Information for Public

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news today that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano officially unveiled the new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). NTAS is replacing the often criticized color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System.

Fear does not encourage preparedness. Today's announcement marks an end to the era of color-coded scare tactics. For years, I have raised concerns about the color-coded alert system because it failed to provide specific, actionable information to the general public and local officials. This lack of specificity led to charges of manipulation of the system to sow fear and gain political advantage.

Under Democratic leadership, the Committee on Homeland Security reviewed this system and urged reforms that would restore public confidence in the integrity of the system. I am pleased that Secretary Napolitano heeded the calls for reform.

The terrorism advisory system being launched today promises credible information that members of the public can use to prepare, protect and respond. As DHS partners with its federal, state, and local stakeholders to implement the new system, I will continue to monitor it to ensure that the American people have both the advisory system they need and one they can trust.

Please see the Department of Homeland Security website for more information and any current alerts:

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978