Terrorist operations and criminal activity can begin with extensive planning. Rental housing units can be prime locations for terrorists or criminals to gather information and materials before launching an assigned mission.
You can help prevent and detect terrorism and other types of crime by watching out for suspicious activities in your apartment or condominium complex and reporting them to the proper authorities.
Many cities offer crime prevention seminars and programs for owners and residents of apartment and condominium complexes. Contact your local police department for more information.
Activities that might indicate someone is using your apartment or condominium complex as a base for terrorist or criminal planning activities might include:
- Renting accommodations using a false name
- Reluctance to give personal and/or work information
- Using a credit card registered in someone else’s name
- Exhibits secretive and/or paranoid behavior about giving ID information
- Presenting a questionable, fraudulent or recently issued driver’s license
- Asking for a ground floor unit, which can facilitate escape, or requesting a specific view of bridges, airports, military or government installations
- Choosing a secluded, less visible unit
- Keeping shades drawn at all times
- Replacing a rental unit’s locks and keys
- Receiving frequent suspicious or unusual visitors
- Following no established departure or return routine, such as a work schedule
- Having little or no furniture
- Refusing to allow staff to enter a unit or room
- Acting paranoid or secretive
- Having limited activity outside of the unit
- Using pay phones or cell phones only, not a land-line phone
- Traveling frequently
- Having strange or suspicious items or documents in the unit
- Making anti-American comments
Many of these activities, in and of themselves, may not indicate criminal activity. Taken together, however, they may be a cause for concern. If you observe people acting suspiciously, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
- Secure entrances (within fire department guidelines) to limit access
- Use employee identification cards or badges
- Screen contractors and temporary workers, and issue them temporary identification cards or passes
- Create and maintain an emergency response plan
- Test emergency lighting, and make repairs when necessary
- Test elevator recall (fire service), fire alarm, and public address systems.