WASHINGTON – Terror alerts from the government will soon have just two levels of warnings — elevated and imminent — and those will be relayed to the public only under certain circumstances. Color codes are out; Facebook and Twitter will sometimes be in, according to a Homeland Security draft obtained by The Associated Press.
Some terror warnings could be withheld from the public if announcing a threat would risk exposing an intelligence operation or an ongoing investigation, according to the government’s confidential plan.
Like a gallon of milk, the new terror warnings will each come with a stamped expiration date.
The new system, replacing the five color-coded levels, is expected to be in place by April 27.
A 19-page document, marked “for official use only” and dated April 1, describes the step-by-step process that would occur behind the scenes when the government believes terrorists might be threatening Americans. It describes the sequence of notifying members of Congress, then counterterrorism officials in states and cities, then governors and mayors and, ultimately, the public.