Situational Awareness Brief: Detecting Suspicious Behavior to Deny Terrorism.
BLUF: As a citizen you have daily observations of persons and activities that occur in public spaces. Recognizing what’s outside the baseline norms can enable to you detect a crime or attack before it occurs.
Indicators of terrorism related suspicious activity as detectable by the everyday civilian can be summarized into 3 categories; unusual activities, garnering of or display of items that don’t fit the baseline, and eliciting of abnormal information.
》Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is left unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary events occur. The purchasing or stealing of non-typical explosives, weapons, ammunition. Buying ammo at a Walmart may be normal while messaging someone on Facebook to buy dynamite may be abnormal. Acquiring military/firefighter uniforms, flight manuals, passes/badges, or any other controlled items could be outside the norm.
》Eliciting information: It’s abnormal when a person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, schedule of operations, security procedures, personnel break times, or shift changes. When questions that breach OPSEC are posed, it’s time to question the person’s true intent. Be mindful of eavesdropping attempts.
》Observation/surveillance: Information of OPSEC can be gained in more ways than asking odd questions. When someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest it’s outside the baseline. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building such as with binoculars or leaving a phone propped up (concealed) at a doorway while recording. Taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, are all indicators. Take note of attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches, attempts to penetrate physical security barriers, or monitor procedures IOT assess strengths and weaknesses.
Debrief: Federal level “see something, say something” awareness advice will teach similar signs to look for but they’ll also stress that race, age, gender, religion should never be considered when determining if suspicious activity is afoot. Federal level training we’ve attended has exaggerated the threat of far-right domestic violent extremism (DVE) while downplaying far-left DVE. It’s important to look past political correctness and instead apply historically-statistical situational awareness to decide what “signs” are threats and/or suspicious activity. Consider the context of the situation. If you’re unable to determine if a threat exists, allow law enforcement (LE) to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. Even if you suspect false flag activity or inside actors, local LE coordination isn’t realistically possible, but when in doubt report 3-fold (media, social media, and LE).
This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know, sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.