Since March 2002, when the nation’s five-color terrorism index was created, the alert has moved from yellow to orange five times, never dropping below or rising above these two colors. A Congressional report over the summer cautioned that the “vagueness of the warnings” may cause the public to “begin to question the authenticity” of the threats. In response, the Department of Homeland Security revised the index in September, creating a higher threshold for orange. The latest alert was issued only after the government received what one official called, “the most specific and credible information we’ve had, period.” But some officials still consider the system near useless. It’s “Crayola confusion,” said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey. Full Story
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