According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reporting the “gathering, processing, reporting, analyzing, and sharing of suspicious activity is critical to preventing crimes, including those associated with domestic and international terrorism.” Accumulating incident and suspicious activity reports in order to analyze and share information is a key function of DHS, and is the best line of defense in these uncertain times. During the past four years, this DHS message has been repeated by the Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) for the benefit of Emergency Services Sector (ESS) departments and agencies.
The EMR-ISAC continues to receive occasional requests for information regarding the identification of suspicious activity. More recently, DHS and the Colorado Information Analysis Center Terrorism Liaison Officer Handbook offered the following indicators of individuals known to have engaged in terrorist attacks or were arrested on terrorism charges. This list is not complete, but can help explain suspicious activity:
* Taking notes, measurements, or drawings of locations.
* Photographing sensitive sites from vehicles.
* Driving away when being approached by an official such as a police officer.
* Returning to the same location to photograph the same site.
* Engaging sector personnel in questions focused on sensitive subjects.
* Providing weak cover stories that fall apart under scrutiny.
* Loitering near or in a facility for extended periods.
* Wearing clothing (e.g., contractors and visitors) unsuitable for the season.
More information regarding suspicious activity and awareness can be seen at http://www.pa-aware.org/
Suspicious activity should be reported to the local law enforcement agency, but also to the NICC: voice: 202-282-9201; Fax: 703-487-3570; E-mail: email@example.com.