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Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will end its use of its "Threat Condition" indicator. The color-coded system was established in 2002 under the George W. Bush administration as an effort to inform the public of current terrorist risks facing the nation.

The Associated Press reports:

Government officials say the colors in the nation's terror alert system will be gone by April 27.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the pending announcement, say the Homeland Security Department will begin a 90-day phasing out of the system on Thursday.

The Homeland Security Department plans to tell the public about a terror threat much like it has been doing for the past few years — through government announcements and the news media.

The five-tiered color-coded terror warnings were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and they quickly became the butt of late-night talk show jokes. The government hasn't made changes in the colored alert levels since 2006, but it has been reviewing its usefulness for more than a year.

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