Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Rental Cars

What Should I Consider Suspicious?

  • Reluctance to provide complete personal information when completing rental paperwork.
  • Using cash for large transactions or a personal credit card in someone else’s name.
  • Providing multiple names on rental paperwork.
  • Inability to recall the name used to rent a vehicle.
  • Individuals surveilling the facility.
  • Returned vehicles that contain
    • Unusual burn marks or odors.
    • Blueprints, photographs, or video of buildings and landmarks.
    • Extremist training manuals or literature.
    • Surveillance equipment.
    • Receipts for hazardous items.
    • Weapons.
    • Explosives.
    • Maps with sensitive locations marked.
  • Efforts to quickly collect deposits for vehicles reported as stolen.
  • Unusual questions regarding ? A limousine’s or other vehicle’s dimensions, fuel capacity, or interior volume. ? Local sites, including government, military, law enforcement, communications, and power facilities.
  • Reports of abandoned rental vehicles, particularly those near
    • Military bases
    • Government buildings
    • Power plants
    • Shopping malls
    • Stadiums
    • Schools

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