Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Farm Supply Stores

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

  • New customer who is not from local area.
  • Refusing to provide address where fertilizer will be used or delivered.
  • Acting nervous or impatient.
  • Possessing little knowledge of crops, soil composition, field size, application methods, or fertilizers.
  • Purchasing large quantity of pesticides, combustibles, or fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate out of season or with cash.
  • Appearing to be interested only in ammonium nitrate; displaying no interest in alternative fertilizers or fertilizer combinations.
  • Seeking chemicals with weight in excess of fertilizer distributor capacity.
  • Making suspicious inquiries regarding equipment (e.g., tank size, spray range).
  • Asking about acquiring vehicles equipped for spraying or hauling (e.g., crop dusters, crop sprayers, fuel tankers).
  • Failing to state legitimate agricultural use for product.
  • Storing agricultural supplies in unusual containers.
  • Using a rental vehicle or a vehicle with an out-of-state or temporary license plate to transport items such as fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate (particularly 34-0-0) or other combustible materials in large proportions.
  • Using cash for large transactions or a credit card in someone else’s name.

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