Pre Incident Indicators of Terrorist or Other Attack DHS 2009
Pre Incident Indicators (PIIs) of Terrorist or Other Attack
Source: US Department of Homeland Security
1. Surveillance (of target location and area)
The first sign is someone trying to monitor or record activities. If terrorists are targeting a specific area they will most likely be observed in that area during the planning phase of the operation. Terrorists will attempt to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and number of personnel that may respond to an incident. Routes to and from the target are usually established during the surveillance phase. It is important to note suspicious actions such as someone using cameras (still or video), drawing diagrams or annotating on maps, using vision-enhancing devices, and being in possession of floor plans or blueprints of places such as high-tech firms, financial institutions, or government or military facilities. Any of these surveillance type acts MAY be an indicator that something is not right and should be reported immediately. Nothing is too insignificant.
2. Elicitation/ Seeking Information (on target and area)
The second sign is the attempt to gain information through inquiries. This includes anyone attempting to gain information about a place, person or operation. Elicitation attempts can be made by mail, fax, telephone, or in person. Examples would be someone inquiring about a critical infrastructure like a power plant, water reservoir or a maritime port. Terrorists may attempt to research bridge and tunnel usage, make unusual inquiries concerning shipments or look into how a facility such as a hospital operates. They may also attempt to place “key” people in sensitive work locations to gain intelligence.