Terror probe: Why is threat level still yellow? – The Christian Science Monitor

The investigation into a potential Al Qaeda plot in the US has triggered a raft of warnings from federal authorities about suspicious activity around stadiums, hotels, and train stations, among other places. But it hasn’t moved the color-coded terror alert system.

The Department of Homeland Security’s national threat level was yellow – or elevated – before and after counterterrorism agents nabbed Najibullah Zazi. He’s the Denver airport shuttle driver at the center the investigation into an alleged plot that authorities say involves plans to build peroxide-based bombs.

In fact, the alert system has been static since 2006, when British officials foiled a plan to blow up transatlantic flights headed to North America from London. That caused the warning to jump to red (severe) for those flights and to orange (high) for general attacks.

But there’s no reason this latest terror investigation should have raised the terror alert, says James Carafano, a homeland-security expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.