If You See Something, Say Something

Remain Vigilant. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It takes a community to protect a community. We all play a role in keeping our community safe. Whether you are at home, at work, or in public places like a mall, stadium or restaurant, be vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Know What to Report

Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
  • Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
  • Observation/Surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
  • Testing of Security: Deliberate interactions with, or challenges to, installations, personnel or systems that reveal physical, personnel or cyber security capabilities.
  • Photography: Taking pictures or video of facilities, buildings or infrastructure in a manner that would arouse suspicion. Examples include taking pictures or video of: Infrequently used access points; personnel performing security functions; security-related equipment (fencing, security cameras, etc.).
  • Supplies: Purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, etc. Acquiring military uniforms, decals, flight manuals, passes, or badges.
  • Impersonation: People who do not seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, establishment, etc. Suspicious border crossings, impersonation of law enforcement, military personnel/or company employees.
  • Funding: Suspicious transactions involving large cash payments, deposits, or withdrawals.
  • Materials Acquisition or Storage: Acquisition and/or storage of unusual quantities of materials, such as cell phones, pagers, fuel, chemicals, toxic materials and timers.
  • Acquisition of Expertise: Attempts to obtain or conduct training in security concepts, military weapons or tactics.
  • Weapons Discovery: Discovery of unusual amounts of weapons or explosives.

Know How to Report

When reporting suspicious activity, describe specifically what you observed, including:

  • Who or what you saw
  • When you saw it
  • Where it occurred
  • Why it's suspicious
Signs of Terrorism and Suspicious Activity Flyer


  • Alert Loudoun - Sign up for news, traffic and emergency information from the Loudoun County government
  • Be Ready: Make a Plan- Links to an online tool that helps you prepare your family or business for an emergency
  • Department of Homeland Security If You See Something, Say Something campaign
  • Virginia’s Fusion Center collects information from federal, state and local officials and shares resources, expertise, and/or information to better identify, detect, prevent and respond to terrorist and criminal activity.