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Suspicious Vehicle Alert and Flash Alert for possible bombings in cities around the United States

Suspicious Vehicle Alert and Flash Alert for possible bombings in cities around the United States - Be Alert for any Suspicious Vehicles, Activities, and Persons

December 25, 2020 | CTG Weapons & Tactics

Location: USA



EVENT: Possible Act of Terrorism in Nashville, TN: Camper van blows up in 'intentional act' on Christmas morning

ALERT — In the wake of the bombing in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning, December 25, 2020, The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) is issuing a flash alert, warning law enforcement, security personnel, and the general public to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles, activities, and persons in urban areas throughout the United States, especially those in proximity to Nashville, and particularly in areas near public or private targets of significance, such as courthouses, government administration buildings, critical infrastructure, industry headquarters, tourist hotspots, etc. Although the intended target, motive behind the attacks, and the individual(s) or group(s) responsible have not been identified, we assess that there is a likely chance that similar attacks may follow.

At the moment, it is known that at 0122, 25 December, 2020, an RV pulled up to the scene at 166 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee. At 0530 police arrived at the scene to a report of shots fired, although upon their arrival there were no immediate signs that a shooting had occurred. Instead, police were alerted to a suspicious RV parked on the street, and a recording could be heard coming from inside the RV warning individuals nearby that the van would explode in 15 minutes and that those nearby should evacuate the area. At 0630 the RV exploded, damaging up to 20 buildings and injuring up to 3 people. Although specifics of the explosive device used are not yet known, there have been reports that the explosion was felt as far as 9 miles away from the blast site. The explosion damaged nearby infrastructure of an AT&T transmission building, disrupting communications including police emergency systems across most of central Tennessee. Although it is not certain if there were any occupants inside the RV at the time, reports of human remains found at the scene by Nashville PD have been confirmed.

Due to the warning that was issued prior to the explosion, and the early hours in which the incident took place, we assess that the perpetrators of this attack were not seeking to cause a mass casualty event, and were instead either attempting to target infrastructure, such as the nearby AT&T buildings, or to send a political message that will likely be determined in the coming days. Nonetheless, considering that no responsibility has been claimed for the recent attack, the perpetrators are still at large, and that they may be attempting to send a message, we have determined that there is a likelihood that similar attacks could follow.

We recommend that citizens, law enforcement, and security personnel stay on alert for suspicious vehicles, particularly large vehicles capable of bearing high yield explosives such as RVs, moving trucks, utility vehicles, large rentals, etc. Possible Indicators that are commonly shared by homeland security and law enforcement sources that may warrant suspicion include but are not limited to:

  • Vehicles unusually or illegally parked

  • Missing, mismatched, or expired license plates, registration stickers, or inspection decals

  • Missing or altered vehicle identification numbers (VIN)

  • Vehicles laden beyond normal capacity, in weight or amount of cargo

  • Cargo concealed or obscured (by a tarp, blanket, or illegally tinted windows)

  • Vehicles where interior appears tampered with or unusually altered

  • Vehicles where the driver appears extremely anxious, and is observed taking extreme care in opening or closing vehicle’s doors, trunk, or hood

  • Distinct odors emanating from a vehicle, including overwhelming gasoline, diesel, kerosene odors and any odors of propane, acids or industrial chemicals

  • Smoke emissions inconsistent with typical indicators of vehicle malfunction

  • Vehicle type, make, size, style, or condition is inconsistent with jurisdiction, season, weather, or use

  • Vehicle is abandoned in a crowded area or making illegal, unsafe, or otherwise unusual maneuvers

  • Driver appears overly anxious

  • Driver is observed taking extreme care in opening or closing vehicle’s doors, trunk, or hood

  • Driver hastily transfers from one vehicle to another

  • More cellular phones than the number of occupants in the vehicle

  • Area or vehicle seemingly under surveillance by suspicious person

  • Multiple calls to 911 regarding a specific vehicle or its location

If a person observes a suspicious vehicle or person or knows of a possible attacker, they need to be cautious but capture as many of the following details as possible and then call 911 and report the suspicious activity in detail. Try to report the following:

  • Who? Identify all of the individuals or vehicles involved in the suspicious activity. Describe each individual or vehicle in as much detail as possible. Information on individuals could include name, DOB, eye color, hair color, height, build, scars, marks, tattoos, glasses, other identifying marks, etc. Is there any known digital media information that is potentially relevant? If so, request the names of the accounts or screenshots of relevant information.

  • What? What concerning or suspicious activity was observed? Is there any digital media that has been captured that can be shared. Report any emails, texts, screenshots, voicemails, etc., potentially related to the suspicious activity.

  • When? When did you observe the suspicious activity?

  • Where? Where did you observe the suspicious activity?

  • Why? Why is the observed activity, vehicle, or person suspicious?

This recommendation will remain especially pertinent in the coming days at early hours of the morning, nearby critical infrastructure, and both public and private sites of significance. All cities in the continental United States should remain on high alert, especially mid-size/large cities in close proximity to the recent attack site in Nashville. If you have any details about the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N, in Nashville, TN Christmas morning, please contact Nashville Police via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via or @ATFHQ (

CTG continues to monitor the situation and any developments regarding the recent attack. If any individual observes a suspicious vehicle or person, knows of a possible attack, or has any helpful information, they should immediately report all information to law enforcement by calling 911 or through established tiplines.



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