raising the national terror threat level to code orange three
times in the past four months, Homeland Security Secretary Tom
Ridge said June 5 he’s worried about the "sustainability
and credibility" of the color-coded system, USA Today reported.
wants a new system where alerts can be targeted for specific industries,
states or cities rather than the entire country.
secretary said the alert system could be only as good as the intelligence
reports that guide it. Those reports have been too vague to allow
for geographically targeted alerts.
also said he thought terrorists might be pumping up the "chatter"
picked up by intelligence officials in order to trick the country
into tightening security. That "can be part of their deceptive
art," he said.
the five-color system, the federal government is required to put
security measures in place, depending on the threat level. States
and cities are encouraged to follow suit but are not required
to. For the most part, the nation has remained at yellow, or elevated
risk of attack. But three times since February, the level has
been raised to orange, or high risk, and then lowered.