What is terrorism?
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against person 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.
While the FBI has the primary responsibility for investigating terrorism matters in the U.S., other law enforcement agencies play an integral role in combating this crime by joining with the FBI to form Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF). Located in all 56 FBI Field Offices, JTTFs are comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who work jointly with other non-member agencies to investigate terrorism matters throughout the nation. JTTFs provide citizens with a state-wide central investigative entity dedicated to preventing terrorism nationwide.
How You Can Help
Your assistance is needed in preventing terrorist acts. Certain activities 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. Suspicious activities of interest that should be reported to the closest JTTF 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?
- 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?
- Hate Crimes – against individuals or groups based on religion, race or ethnicity may rise to the level of terrorist acts and should be immediately reported to the closest JTTF.
If you observe suspicious activity that may relate to terrorism, please contact the JTTF, Sheriff’s Office or police department closest to you as soon as possible.