Terrorism Threats

Whether at home, at work, or while traveling, citizens are encouraged to be cognizant of suspicious activities that may pose a threat to themselves or others.

If Under a Terrorist Threat
  • Be aware of your surroundings; relocate if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right.
  • Report unusual behavior, suspicious packages/devices to the police or security personnel.
  • Do not accept packages from strangers; do not leave luggage unattended.
  • If traveling, identify where emergency services are located and how to contact law enforcement/safety personnel.
  • Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent. Plan how to evacuate in the event of an emergency.
  • Be prepared to do without services on which you normally depend (electricity, telephone, natural gas, gasoline pumps, cash registers, ATMs and internet).
  • Ensure vehicles are locked and properly parked.
Terrorism Composite
7 Signs of Terrorism Plots
The Virginia State Police recommend the following suspicious activities be reported to law enforcement:
  • Surveillance: Recording/monitoring of activities (drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices); attempts to possess floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.
  • Elicitation: Attempts to obtain operational, security and personnel-related information regarding a key facility or public service (by mail, fax, email, telephone or in person).
  • Tests of Security: Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches and/or penetrate physical security barriers/procedures; attempts to assess facility strengths and weaknesses.
  • Acquiring Supplies: Attempts to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement/military equipment, uniforms, identification badges or the equipment to create false identification.
  • Suspicious Persons: Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to their behavior; this includes unusual questions or statements.
  • Dry Runs/Trial Runs: Behavior that appears to simulate terrorist actions or preparatory processes, including mapping out of routes, determining the timing of traffic lights/flow, or physically boarding and monitoring bus, plane or other transport operations.
  • Deploying Assets: Placing people, equipment and supplies into position to commit the terrorist act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before a terrorism event occurs.
Sources & Resources:
Virginia Department of State Police