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NEED TO KNOW: SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING DAY

(The Need to Know report is based on information pertaining to Threat, Security, Intelligence, and Investigative Professionals (TSIIP). Below is a summary and for more information, please read the attached original report.)


Writer: Threat Hunter 2

Editor: Elythir George

Date: September 25, 2023

Department of Homeland Security See Something, Say Something Campaign[1]


BLUF/Summary: Public vigilance and reporting of potential threats helps bolster safety, but irresponsible assumptions can breed harmful prejudice. Be observant for unusual behaviors like surveillance, breaches, questioning beyond casual interest, and acquiring materials, which may indicate terrorist planning if context suggests concerning intent. Imminent or direct threats warrant an urgent 9-1-1 response. For other concerning signs, report responsibly to local authorities for investigation. Everyday citizens play a role in being alert but should use good judgment and discretion to uphold rights and social cohesion. The goal is early warning against credible threats through civic responsibility and awareness, while promoting ethics and equal treatment across all groups. In summary, the bottom line is being observant and reporting credible threats to aid safety efforts, but doing so in a judicious manner that builds civic bonds and averts prejudice. Shared vigilance with discretion.


Threats/Concerns: Based on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) infographic, some potential threats include:[2]

  • Terrorist attacks - The behaviors described like surveillance, breaches, eliciting information, acquisitions of materials, etc. could indicate planning for acts of terrorism.

  • Sabotage/property damage - Tampering, vandalism, or sabotaging infrastructure could presage intentional property destruction.

  • Aviation incidents - Suspicious aviation activity could suggest plans to use aircraft to cause harm.

  • Cyberattacks - Probing IT systems or suspicious cyberactivity could foreshadow data breaches, hacking, or digital sabotage.

  • Theft and diversion - Theft of materials like uniforms or badges could enable unauthorized access.

  • Violence against facilities/personnel - Surveillance, breaches, and elicitation suggest possible precursors to physical attacks.

  • Smuggling/trafficking - Storage and acquisition of suspicious materials could indicate illicit transport and trade.

  • Insider threats - Personnel misrepresenting themselves or improperly accessing facilities.

  • Infrastructure disruption - Testing security could be prelude to causing power, communications, or other critical system outages.

  • Espionage/information theft - Photography, surveillance and elicitation may precede data/intelligence theft.

In general, most behaviors listed suggest the potential for harm through various criminal, violent, or subversive acts. Being alert for these types of activities aims to interdict and prevent tragic outcomes.


Significance: These threats almost certainly present various risks of large-scale harm, disruption, and damage across public safety and economic, social and security dimensions.


What do people need to be aware of: Based on the information provided, some key things everyday people should be aware of include:

  • Being observant - Notice unusual behaviors, activities or events that seem anomalous for the context. Subtle cues may indicate larger threats.

  • Evaluating context - Consider the setting, timeframe, actions, and other circumstances to determine if something is truly suspicious rather than an innocent act.

  • Avoiding assumptions - Do not let bias or stereotypes cloud evaluation. Focus on specific behaviors rather than profiles.

  • Knowing indicators - Recognize the range of activities that could potentially indicate terrorist planning or threats.

  • Reporting concerns - Speak up about legitimate concerns by informing authorities for investigation. Err on the side of reporting.

  • Using discretion - Be judicious in reporting to avoid infringing on civil liberties or unfair targeting of groups. Do not jump to conclusions.

  • Maintaining awareness - Keep an ongoing situational awareness about surroundings and activities when in public spaces and communities.

  • Preparing responsibly - Take reasonable precautions without living in fear. Emphasize resilience and refusing to give into terror.

  • Unity over division - Avoid spreading harmful stereotypes. Stress connections across groups versus profiling.

In summary, responsible public awareness balanced with discretion helps enhance safety while upholding ethics and social cohesion. Shared vigilance coupled with level-headedness is key. If you see something, say something.

 

[2] Ibid

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