Knowing what is going on around you is important. Being able to spot suspicious people can help identify threats in many environments.
Adversarial surveillance is conducted to gather critical information about individuals,organizations,businesses and infrastructure in order to commit an act of terrorism or other crime.
Not including activities conducted by security , investigative, law enforcement or other personnel in the normal course of their duties.
When planning illegal activities such as terrorist attacks perpetrators may conduct surveillance to try to learn all they can about:
Building access, egress, or vulnerabilities
Routine activities of employees,suppliers,customers and visitors
Security protocols or equipment
Other relevant information
This is when terrorist activities are most vulnerable to detection
Pre attack preparation may include
Acquisition of supplies and materials
Practice or test runs
This could take place over days weeks or even years
And involve repeat visits to collect required information
Type of information collected through surveillance includes
Locations and numbers of security personnel and cameras
Facility layout, including access and egress routes
Timing of routine events
Event specific data
Security/visitor processes and procedures
Security equipment, including badges and uniforms
Information about maintenance and cleaning personnel or procedures
Crowd data such as when an area is most crowded
Access requirements for restricted or employee only areas
Parking facility access and operations
Surveillance activities include
Drawing maps or diagrams
Observing employees and facilities using vision enhancing devices such as binoculars, still and video cameras and night vision goggles
Soliciting employees of information
Taking notes about security and routines
Charting crowd patterns
Photographing security equipment, badges, or apparel
Observing security responses after attempting unauthorized access
Trained surveillance individuals may use teams and use a variety of advanced equipment and multiple forms of transportation . Teams may act as families or tourist to gain access and probe targets
However Experience has shown that individuals in planning terrorism are not always well trained or equipped. Operatives who are not highly trained are more vulnerable to detection by employees, passers- by and others. Since surveillance takes time they may need to make multiple visits over extended periods making them easier to detect.
To detect surveillance by adversaries, first you should take note of activities you observe that are typically associated with surveillance, such as watching a location or recording information about it over time. Next you should evaluate any surveillance related activities that you observe to determine if they seem unusual or noteworthy. Often you will find that surveillance activities will appear unusable and out of place.
They key to surveillance detection is knowledge of what is normal for your environment. Here are some examples of normal and unusual activities
A photographer working on an assignment will take photos openly use professional equipment , and make efficient use of time
A person conducting surveillance may try to hide their activities,use a cell phone or low end equipment and make repeated visits
A tourist usually will take photographs or everything that is notable in the area, and will include companions in them.
An individual conducting surveillance may focus on one location and in particular building entrances, windows, or security personnel or features, if there are companions or others included they are usually not the focus of a photo or video.
An unusual surveillance activity by itself may not necessarily be an indication of adversarial surveillance. It is important to assess and evaluate the totality of observed actions and behaviors as well as other relevant circumstances.
For example, a person may be interested in building doors or entrances for a variety of innocent reasons. However, the persons behavior is suspicious and should be reported if the person displays additional unusual behaviors, such as
Making repeat visits to the same location to record or document something about the doors or entrances
Attempting to disguise an interest in the doors or entrances
Displaying more of an interest in alarm and security features or in a restricted or employee entrances
Activities that should always be reported
Illegal activities should always be reported
In addition the following activities should be promptly reported in every instance to a manager or security personnel
Questioning employees and out security personnel, processes and equipment
Security tests, attempts to access employee only or non public areas or an increase in alarms or events that require security or law enforcement response
System access attempts
Thefts or attempted thefts of IDs, badges, or uniforms; smartphones, laptops, or other equipment or vehicles.
Other behaviors while conducting adversarial surveillance may include
Making repeat visits over time
Changing location within the area to avoid detection
Attempting to hide their faces or duct down behind something to avoid detection or running when detected.
Other common mistakes are failing to have a valid reason for being in a particular location or engaging I activities that are normally conducted in a particular location.
A person may be wearing overly casual clothing in a professional environment
Wearing business or formal attired wile claiming to be maintenance
Wearing accessories to disguise appearance.
If you see something say something
Report activity to the appropriate authorities
Remember that reporting your findings even if a single event May line up with previous reports on the same person.
When you identify a suspicious act try to get as much information about the person as you can. Include things like:
Estimated height and weight
Facial hair if any
Scars or marks
Or vehicle information
Sedan truck van or suv
Make model and color
License plate number and state
And make note of the observed activities and what was suspicious about it.
Remember to keep the big picture in mind and avoid putting yourself in danger.