Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Internet Café

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What Should I Consider Suspicious?

People Who:

  • Are overly concerned about privacy, attempts to shield the screen from view of others
  • Always pay cash or use credit card(s) in different name(s)
  • Apparently use tradecraft: lookout, blocker or someone to distract employees
  • Act nervous or suspicious behavior inconsistent with activities
  • Are observed switching SIM cards in cell phone or use of multiple cell phones
  • Travel illogical distance to use Internet Café

Activities on Computer Indicate:

  • Evidence of a residential based internet provider (signs on to Comcast, AOL, etc.)
  • Use of anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address
  • Suspicious or coded writings, use of code word sheets, cryptic ledgers, etc.
  • Encryption or use of software to hide encrypted data in digital photos, etc.
  • Suspicious communications using VOIP or communicating through a PC game

Use Computers To:

  • Download content of extreme/radical nature with violent themes
  • Gather information about vulnerable infrastructure or obtain photos, maps or diagrams of transportation, sporting venues, or populated locations
  • Purchase chemicals, acids, hydrogen peroxide, acetone, fertilizer, etc.
  • Download or transfer files with “how-to” content such as:
    • Content of extreme/radical nature with violent themes
    • Anarchist Cookbook, explosives or weapons information
    • Military tactics, equipment manuals, chemical or biological information
    • Terrorist/revolutionary literature
    • Preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attacks
    • Defensive tactics, police or government information
    • Information about timers, electronics, or remote transmitters / receivers

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