Terrorists have demonstrated a consistent interest in targets that produce mass casualties and economic, symbolic, and psychological impact. In order to ensure the success of the attack, the targets must be carefully researched. Some research can be conducted online, but there are few substitutes for on-site surveillance. This allows the terrorist to observe security measures, traffic patterns, presence or absence of law enforcement or security, first responder protocols, and so on.

Videotaping, photographing or sketching of buildings or facility features that are not routinely of interest to visitors or tourists should be reported. Attempts to conceal videotaping, photographing or sketching; prolonged observation or observation over several days; questioning about security procedures; describing building features of activities while videotaping; and attempts to conceal identity while conducting these activities should be also reported.

Telephone solicitation is another suspicious activity that may warrant investigation. Suspicious individuals that telephone and inquire about sensitive information, particularly when it relates to sensitive locations, should be reported. Always ask for a name and call-back telephone number whenever anyone inquires about sensitive information. The same principal applies to suspicious e-mail contact.


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