Russia to adopt US terror alert level

RIA Novosti reports that the U.S. so-called terror alert level (Homeland Security System) is ready for introduction to Russia, the Russian president’s special envoy on counter-terrorism said.

Russia’s plans to introduce a system for responding to terrorist threats were declared in March 2008 by Director of Russia’s Federal Security Services Nikolai Patrushev.

“As far as I know, the technical issues surrounding the introduction [of the system] have been sorted out. Now only the legal and political questions remain. It is almost ready,” Anatoly Safonov told journalists in Washington after the meeting of a U.S-Russia working group on fighting terrorism.

The Homeland Security Advisory System was developed in the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in response to complaints from the public that the state was not giving enough warning of known terrorist threats.

The system has five color-coded levels, with green the lowest, signifying almost no danger, and red the highest, signifying severe risk. The danger level is determined by intelligence from the federal security services.

Responses to terrorist threats depend on their color code. While no response is taken to the two lowest levels or risk, responses to the top three levels include increasing police presence and border control, deploying members of the state guard and stepping up security measures at military bases and airports. The red level causes public and government agencies to be shut down and staff to be evacuated to designated areas, including underground bunkers.

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