Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Electronics Stores
What Should I Consider Suspicious?
- Significantly alters appearance from visit to visit (shaving beard, changing hair color, style of dress, etc)
- Missing hand/fingers, chemical burns, strange odors or bright colored stains on clothing
- Fills a “shopping list” of components lacking knowledge about specifications and uses
- Purchases quantities of prepaid or disposable cell phones
- Insists prepaid phones not be activated or programmed upon purchase
- Pays cash for large purchases; uses credit card(s) in different name(s), uses suspicious identification
- Travels illogical distance to purchase items or asks where similar stores are located
Purchasers Showing Unusual Interest Through Questions Related To:
- Radio frequencies (used/not used) by law enforcement
- Voice or data encryption, VOIP, satellite phones, voice privacy
- Use of anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address
- Swapping SIM cards in cell phones or how phone location can be tracked
- Rewiring cell phone’s ringer or backlight
- Products/components related to military-style equipment
- Unusual comments regarding radical theology, vague/cryptic warnings, or anti-U.S. sentiments that appear to be out-of-place and provocative
Purchases Including Unusual Combinations Of:
- Electronic Timer or Timing Devices
- 2-way Radios
- Digital Voice Changers
- Infra-Red Devices
- Police Scanners
- Phone or “bug” detection devices
- Wire and Soldering Tools
- Night Vision
- Flashlight Bulbs
Note: It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.
What Should I Do?
Be Part of the Solution
- Require valid ID from all new customers.
- Keep records of purchases.
- Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
- Watch for people and actions that are out of place.
- Make note of suspicious statements, people, and/or vehicles.
- If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.
Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.
Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts.
Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.
Osceola County Sheriff’s Office