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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

Napolitano announces alert system at GW

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano?formally announced the color-coded national security alert system currently utilized by the country will be replaced with a new, two-tiered alert system.

Outlined in the first-ever “State of America’s Homeland Security” address,?Napolitano said the new system will alert those potentially affected by a threat, and label that threat as elevated or immanent.

Napolitano, speaking in the Jack Morton Auditorium, also said a joint effort among the government and the public is essential to protect American soil.

“The kinds of threats we now face demonstrate that our homeland security is a shared responsibility and that only a whole nation approach will bring us to the level of security and resiliency we require,” Napolitano said.

She emphasized the “If You See Something, Say Something” and “Suspicious Activity Reporting” campaigns, saying it is everyone’s responsibility to spot potentially dangerous activity.

“The threats we face today are real, they are persistent and they are evolving rapidly,” she said, specifically referencing threats from Al Qaeda, Yemen, Arabian Peninsula and homegrown terrorism.

Napolitano and the Obama administration have been increasingly forced to look inward when attempting to prevent terrorism. In the last three years, there has been more attention given to U.S. citizens who have joined with terrorist organizations abroad. The secretary said two dozen U.S. citizens have been arrested on terror-related charges within the past two years.

“The arrests of an increasing number of U.S. persons on terror-related charges in the last two years means that we must work beyond that [foreign] paradigm,” she said. “The hard work of securing the U.S. homeland stretches from the mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan and other far-off places, all the way back to the main streets of our smallest hometowns,” she said.

Napolitano used her platform to tell students the Department of Homeland Security, National Guard, law enforcement and intelligence need their help.

“We want a new generation of Americans to join the fight against a new generation of threats,” she said.

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