Public Awareness

See Something, Say Something

Alabama citizens should provide criminal or terrorist related tips to their local law enforcement agencies. These tips will be investigated locally and then reported by law enforcement to the Alabama Fusion Center. If you prefer, you may submit a tip directly to the Fusion Center.

Most people will not run into terrorists or extremists in their daily routine but some have and will. Even if the unusual turns out to be criminal conduct, it probably is not terrorist related, but once again, it could be. Law enforcement needs citizens to report suspicious activity even if it ultimately turns out to be innocent or normal criminal activity. Without leads, there are no investigations and only investigations lead to convictions.

The indicators listed below are not fool-proof. There is no checklist that will tell you when you have reached the level of suspicious activity. However, if you encounter an increasing number of indicators, commonsense would tell you that increased attention should be paid and more thought should be given to reporting your observations. The possibility that you may run across these indicators will depend on your alertness as well as where you work, live, commute, what you do, etc.

1. Unusual requests for information may be an attempt to gather information prior to an attack. Inquiries about security & safety procedures, habits of key personnel, personal information, and in-depth information on operating systems, mail handling procedures, communications, facility structures, etc. These inquiries could be verbal, mail, FAX, or other electronic forms.

2. Unusual interest in high risk or symbolic targets. Specifically if that interest is more oriented towards security procedures, access points, and structural layout rather than the more tourist type views. Surveillance, photographs, videos, taking notes, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps or mapping out locations, using binoculars, night vision, listening devices, and requests for information should cause a heightened sense of concern.

3. Unusual activities. This could be people acting furtively and suspiciously. Avoiding eye contact or departing quickly when seen. Someone who appears to be concealing something, attempts to gain access or are someplace they don't belong. People in places where there isn't a reasonable explanation why they are there or doing some activity that doesn't fit the area. Pouring 50 gallon drums into a lake, unloading multiple propane bottles into a garage, inappropriate use of cameras, videos, night vision scopes, carrying or wearing unusual items for the setting, location or season such as bulky clothes when it is hot. It could be the presence of military type weapons, equipment, or uniforms that are obviously not part of military or police activity. Explosions or automatic weapons fire, particularly in rural areas, may indicate practice runs, testing, or training.

4. Unusually strong smells, particularly ammonia, fuel oil, or propane, near buildings or vehicles may indicated bomb making. Leaks from storage areas on vehicles, especially when obviously not engine or gas tank related.

5. Other suspicious events or activities such as unexplained false burglar or fire alarms, prank calls for bomb threats etc may indicate someone testing security or emergency response. Fake license plates, inflammatory bumper stickers, posted notices, literature; mailed, handed out, or placed in mailboxes or on cars can all be indicators of activity in your area. Someone asking you to watch, hold, transport, or deliver luggage and packages for them.


Active Shooter Information

For more information regarding Active Shooter safety, please visit


What is Terrorism?

Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

7 Signs of Terrorism

Videos: See Something, Say Something
  1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.

  2. Elicitation: Attempts to obtain operation, security and personnel-related information regarding a key facility. May be made by mail, fax, e-mail, telephone or in person.

  3. Tests of Security: Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

  4. Acquiring Supplies: Attempts to improperly acquire items that could be used in a terrorist act. May include the acquisition of explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement or military equipment, uniforms, identification badges or the equipment to manufacture false identification.

  5. Suspicious Persons: Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to their behavior, including unusual questions or statements they make.

  6. Dry Runs/Trial Runs: Behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act without actually committing the act. Activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.

  7. Deploying Assets: Placing people, equipment and supplies into position to commit the act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

Citizen Volunteer Programs

Homeland Security starts at home. The fight to keep America and Alabama safe begins with its citizens. And in time of disaster, it's those citizens that are an integral part of the response, recovery, and rebuilding process. Thus, citizen programs in Alabama are a key component within the Alabama Department of Homeland Security.

Alabama Citizen Corps covers five programs including Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Neighborhood Watch Program (NWP), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), and Fire Corps. To learn more about these programs, click here.

Citizen Corps programs are created at the local level. Homeland Security Points of Contact in each county are familiar with the programs and can assist you with joining a group or establishing one. If you would like more information on the programs in your county, click here to find your Point of Contact person.

The Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is the central government resource for Citizen Corps programs. They can provide information to these groups that help in disaster preparedness, training, and volunteer education. You can visit GFBCI by clicking here.



Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.


Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.


Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.

Connect using computer.

Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

Read our Cyber tips.