Enhancing Communications to Protect Against Domestic Terrorism
As the United States faces the growing threat of homegrown violent extremism, the need to fuel widespread neighborhood vigilance and uphold a concerted local effort remains a focal point in preventing terrorism.
Successful homeland security efforts require well-informed and proactive communities. Since publishing its first National Strategy in 2002, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has engaged citizens by promoting an observant culture throughout American society.
Recently, DHS introduced the National Terrorism Advisory System [NTAS] Bulletin as a new framework to streamline threat alerts to the public. The NTAS Bulletin broadcasts general advisories on the current climate of immediate and long-term threats and current counterterrorism efforts. It also provides accessible channels for citizens to report suspicious activity, offers practical methods to stay prepared, and increases awareness of resources that inform communities.
More user-friendly ways of information sharing with ordinary citizens is a great opportunity for DHS. In tailoring its alerts to the public, DHS is breaking down common cultural and communication barriers between Federal agencies and the public. As a growing number of Americans use social media like Facebook and Twitter for news, engaging in a more personal dialogue can tap into a larger audience keen to check in for security updates.
More user friendly content that the public can consume helps with a multi-layered security network in DHS’s domestic counterterrorism strategy.