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12 Mar, 2008 20:07

Russia adopts colour-coded terrorism warning

It’s been revealed that terrorist acts were prevented during Russia's presidential election last month. The head of Russia's FSB security service, Nikolay Patrushev, made the admission as he unveiled a new colour-coded threat system.

“According to the decree by the Russian President, we've adopted the idea of the governmental system of terror threat response. And our suggestion is to introduce five levels of terror danger,” Nikolay Patrushev said.

The system consists of five threat levels – green for normal;  blue for a possible but unlikely attack; yellow for the strong possibility of an attack; orange for highly likely and red – the highest alert for a possible terror act.

In every case, Patrushev says appropriate measures will be taken countrywide.

In practice, the number of terrorist acts in Russia has at least halved every year in recent times. But there is still room for improvement, as the country continues to battle potential threats.

Russia's Southern Republic of Dagestan is still a major terrorist hot spot. It witnessed more than sixty attacks in just the first half of 2005.

In September 2007, some 10 people died and dozens were wounded in attacks on police stations, military officers and civilians in Russia's Southern Republic of Ingushetia. But there has also been progress, as the total number of incidents in Russia's South fell by 40 per cent last year.

Experts believe that the new system may help avert the negative outcomes of terrorism, as well as the acts themselves.

Political analyst Sergey Kurginyan says that systems to deal with threats are being introduced in different countries to cope with potential terror attacks.

“Different countries face different threats. My opinion is, the systems of threats scale is introduced not to prevent a terror act – but to prevent its political consequences. In particular, panic or political unrest. After 9/11, say, the situation in the United States wasn't stable. Authorities didn't know how to respond or whether they should respond at all,” Sergey Kurginyan said.