Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or its citizens to further certain political or social objectives. Law enforcement generally recognizes two types of terrorism: domestic and international. Domestic terrorism is based and executed in the United States by our own citizens without foreign direction. International terrorism, which is connected to foreign governments or groups, transcends our nation’s boundaries. Terrorist acts against U.S. citizens can occur anywhere in the world.
Austin’s Homeland Security would like to tell all citizens if you “See Something, Say Something” if you notice something suspicious or see possible signs of terrorism please report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
See Something, Say Something
What is Terrorism? How You Can Help
Austin citizens can play a role in preventing terrorist attacks. Certain activities or behaviors can indicate terrorist planning, especially when these activities occur at or near key facilities such as government, military, utility or other high-profile sites or places where large numbers of people gather. Examples of suspicious activity include:
- Surveillance—Are you aware of anyone recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars, etc., near a key facility?
- Suspicious Questioning—Are you aware of anyone attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, e-mail, etc., regarding a key facility or its personnel?
- Tests of Security—Are you aware of any attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility?
- Acquiring Supplies—Are you aware of anyone attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances that could be used in a terrorist attack?
- Suspicious Persons—Are you aware of anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment or near a key facility? This does not mean that we should profile individuals, but does mean that we should profile behavior.
What Should You Do?
- Dry Runs—Have you observed any behavior that appears to be preparation for terrorist activity, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities?
- Deploying Assets—Have you observed abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials or persons being deployed near a key facility? (Source: FBI)
- If you do observe suspicious activity, report it to your local police or sheriff’s office. Or call the Austin Regional Intelligence Center at 512-974-ARIC (2742).
Some guidelines when reporting suspicious activity include:
- What is happening?
- Who is doing it?
- Where is it taking place?
- When did you observe it?
- Why are you suspicious?
The “See Something, Say Something” does not promote spying on your neighbor, invading someone’s privacy, or taking the law into your own hands. It does not profile individuals who look, act, dress, or live differently than us. It strictly profiles behavior that may be linked to terrorism.
To Report Suspected Terrorism please call the local Austin office FBI # at Phone: (512) 345-1111 or fax information to (512) 346-5265.