How to Report Suspected Terrorist Activity. Law enforcement agencies need citizens' help to stop terrorist activity. If you want to report a suspicious incident, person or group, follow these steps.

Note as many physical characteristics of the person or persons involved in the suspicious event as possible. Report the suspicious party's sex, race, approximate age, height and weight, clothing, hair color and distinguishing characteristics (tattoos, accent, scars, facial hair and other identifying marks).

Describe in detail exactly what you saw during the suspicious event. Know the time, location, what happened, who was involved and in what direction the suspects left. Your eyewitness account can aid law enforcement officials' efforts to apprehend the suspects. Take detailed notes of what you saw.

Note characteristics of any vehicle the suspects used to make a getaway. The make, model, year, color, license plate number and any distinctive characteristics (dents, bumper stickers, tinted glass or paint chips) are all important details that can help law enforcement officials hunt the car down.

Report peculiar incidents to your local police using their non-emergency number. Have your description of the suspects and notes regarding the incident ready. You may be asked to give your name and address. Remember that you are under no obligation to provide your personal information, although this may help law enforcement if they have further questions.

Inform the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the suspicious incident. You can submit a tip by telephone, or anonymously, on their Web site (see Resources below). This contact information can also be found on the front cover of your local telephone directory.

Call 911 only in an emergency situation. 911 is not the most effective source of help in cases of suspected terrorist activity which are not immediately life-threatening. However, suspicious unattended vehicles or packages left in public places may represent extreme public danger. Consider such a situation to be an emergency requiring the immediate attention of law enforcement officials.


  • Never attempt to thwart suspected terrorist activity yourself. Consider all potential terrorists to be extremely dangerous, and do not act except to report the incident to law enforcement officials.