Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Electronics Stores

Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Electronics Stores

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

People Who:

  • 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
  • GPS
  • Digital Voice Changers
  • Infra-Red Devices
  • Police Scanners
  • Phone or “bug” detection devices
  • Batteries
  • Switches
  • 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
407-348-2222