What is Suspicious Activity? Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime.

With the help of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), the campaign has identified indicators of terrorism-related suspicious activity. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
  • Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
  • Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.

Some of these activities could be innocent—it’s important to consider the context of the situation. It’s then up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation.

We can all help keep our communities safe by paying attention to our surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement or a person of authority.

Protecting Citizens’ Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

The “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign respects citizens’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.

Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. The public should only report suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or package, or someone breaking into a restricted area). Only reports that document behavior that is reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.

 

 

Example indicators include:

Eliciting information

How to Report Suspicious Activity

Public safety and security is everyone’s responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority using the “5W’s”:

Who did you see? What did you see? When you saw it. Where it occurred. Why it's suspicious.

IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1.
Do not report suspicious activity to the Department of Homeland Security. Instead, notify local law enforcement

Do you know the signs of terrorism-related suspicious activity?

 

Surveillance
Someone recording or monitoring activities. This may include the use of cameras, note taking, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps, or using binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices.
Elicitation
People or organizations attempting to gain information about military operations, capabilities, or people. Elicitation attempts may be made by mail, email, telephone, or in person. This could also include eavesdropping or friendly conversation.
Tests of Security
Any attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches, attempts to penetrate physical security barriers, or monitor procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.
Funding
Suspicious transactions involving large cash payments, deposits, or withdrawals are common signs of terrorist funding. Collections for donations, the solicitation for money and criminal activity are also warning signs.
Supplies
Purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, etc. This also includes acquiring military uniforms, decals, flight manuals, passes or badges (or the equipment to manufacture such items) and any other controlled items.
Impersonation
People who don’t seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else. This includes suspicious border crossings, the impersonation of law enforcement, military personnel, or company employees is also a sign.
Rehearsal
Putting people in position and moving them around according to their plan without actually committing the terrorist act. An element of this activity could also include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.
Deployment
People and supplies getting into position to commit the act. This is the person’s last chance to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

See Something, Send Something App

See Something Send Something is the preeminent nationwide suspicious activity reporting (SAR) tool for citizens to help in the fight against terrorism. See Something Send Something has information to educate you on what to look for and when to submit suspicious activity reports along with how to receive important alerts. The SAR tool connects you to a nationwide network of Intelligence Centers by routing tips to the correct center for analysis.

Learn what to look for, stay informed, and act on your intuition with the official See Something Send Something app. For situations requiring an immediate response always call 911 or local police directly.

To ensure proper functionality, Please be sure to enable location services while using the app. 

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Suspicous Activity?

 

Suspcious Activity?

 

Suspicious Activity?

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877-4VA-TIPS