Acquisition of Materials

Every terrorist attack involves the use of some type of weapon. The most common is the improvised explosive device (IED). These have been used globally in many different configurations (backpacks, suitcases, cars, attached to suicide bombers, etc.) Firearms are also common weapons. Terrorists have experimented with chemical, biological and radiological agents.

There are three ways to obtain these weapons: steal them; make them; or buy them. Even explosives made from household materials require the purchase of precursor materials. Any suspicious inquiries or purchases of large quantities of fertilizers, peroxides, pesticides, or other chemicals should be reported, as should the theft of dangerous substances (poison, explosive or corrosive materials, etc.) or the attempted or actual online purchase of these items.

If any of these materials are discovered in locations that are not authorized for their use or storage, or if there appears to be an attempt to conceal possession of these items, this should be reported. Unusual nighttime shipments, dead or dying vegetation around a location, unusual odors or efforts to ventilate an area with no rational explanation; or unexplained chemical burns should also be reported.
Small arms assaults have also factored prominently into numerous recent terrorist attacks. Any unusual or unlawful attempts to obtain or amass weapons or ammunition should be reported. Similarly, suspicious individuals that demonstrate an interest in target practice or in commando-style training should also be reported. Any perceived attack planning in conjunction with the acquisition of firearms or commando-style training should also be reported immediately.


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