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Recognize the Signs


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”. To learn how to report suspicious activity in your state, visit our How to Report page.

Protect Your Every Day. Recognize the Signs of terrorism-related Suspicious Activity.

Whether you are on your way to work, walking in your neighborhood, or out and about in your community, remember: We all play a role in keeping our communities safe. Remember to stay vigilant and say something when you see signs of suspicious activity.

Expressed or Implied Threat. Threatening to commit a crime that could harm or kill people or damage a facility, infrastructure, or secured site.
Photography/Surveillance. Taking pictures or videos, or a prolonged interest in personnel, facilities, security features, or infrastructure in an unusual or covert manner.
Theft/Loss/Diversion. Stealing or diverting items—such as equipment, uniforms, or badges—that belong to a facility or secured site.
Testing or Probing of Security. Investigating or testing a facility's security or IT systems to assess the strength or weakness of the target.
Aviation Activity. Operating or interfering with the operation of an aircraft that poses a threat of harm to people and property.
Breach/Attempted Intrusion. Unauthorized people trying to enter a restricted area or impersonating authorized personnel.
Acquisition of Expertise. Gaining skills or knowledge on a specific topic, such as facility security, military tactics, or flying an aircraft.
Eliciting Information. Questioning personnel beyond mere curiosity about an event, facility, or operations.
Imisrepresentation. Presenting false information or misusing documents to conceal possible illegal activity.
Cyberattack. Disrupting or compromising an organization's information technology systems.
Recruiting/Financing. Funding suspicious or criminal activity or recruiting people to participate in criminal or terrorist activity.
Sabotage/Tampering/Vandalism. Damaging or destroying part of a facility, infrastructure, or secured site.
Materials Acquisition/Storage. Acquisition and/or storage of unusual materials such as cell phones, radio controllers, or toxic materials.
Weapons Collection/Storage. Collection or discovery of unusual amounts of weapons including explosives, chemicals, or other destructive materials.
Sector-Specific Incident. Actions which raise concern to specific sectors, (e.g., power plant) with regard to their personnel, facilities, systems, or functions.

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*Please note that DHS has created these materials for you at no cost, but any costs associated with printing or distribution will be your responsibility as an official partner. Also, these materials cannot be modified in any way due to trademark and licensing agreements that exist with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Last Updated: 01/28/2022
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