The If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign is a public awareness campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to raise public awareness about terrorism and the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local authorities.
- Local communities and citizens play an important role in preventing terrorism and keeping our communities safe.
- The public should report suspicious activity such as the discovery of a suspicious package or suspicious behavior, such as someone breaking into a restricted area, attempting to gain access into a restricted area, or making suspicious purchases of precursor chemicals.
- Suspicious activity does not include factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- Anyone who sees suspicious activity in Maine is asked to call their local law enforcement agency or 9-1-1 in case of an emergency or if a crime is in progress.
How did the campaign get started?
- The campaign and slogan was developed by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority who licensed the slogan to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for anti-terrorism efforts.
- The campaign was launched in conjunction with the US Department of Justice’s Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative-a national database for gathering and analyzing suspicious activity.
- Maine has a small population, but a large geographic area to protect, including 611 miles of international border and more than 3,000 miles of coastline. The goal is to have the eyes and ears of all citizens alert, paying attention to their surroundings and reporting anything suspicious.
- Two of the 9-11 terrorists spent a day in Maine, then traveled through the Portland International Jetport, to Boston and hijacked American Airlines Flight 11.
- There have been a number of other cases where refugees have illegally crossed the border into Maine, including a Rwandan fugitive charged with war crimes and a Palestinian charged with aiding and abetting terrorist activity.
What is the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Initiative?
- The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a joint collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.
- This initiative provides law enforcement with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity by establishing a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information.
What is considered suspicious activity?
- Suspicious activity may include an unusual interest in gaining sensitive information about facility security, operations, or maintenance.
- An unattended bag or backpack.
- Suspicious purchases of items that could be used to construct an explosive device, including hydrogen peroxide, acetone, gasoline, propane, or ammonium nitrate fertilizers.
- Theft of explosive materials.
- Theft of security personnel uniforms or credentials
- Attempted or unauthorized access to rooftops or other potentially sensitive areas.
- Individuals acting suspiciously around the entrances to an event location.
- Unusual or bulky clothing that is inconsistent with the weather.
What information should I report?
- Who or what you saw
- When you saw it
- Where it occurred
- Why it's suspicious
What happens when I call to report suspicious activity?
- If you call 9-1-1, or your local law enforcement agency non-emergency number, your local law enforcement agency will handle the call and, if warranted, they will provide the information to the Maine Information and Analysis Center (MIAC) or FBI into the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting System.
- The MIAC is part of a national network of Fusion centers that coordinates information with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners. If warranted, they will enter the information into the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting System.
- Only reports that document behavior that is reasonably indicative of criminal activity associated with terrorism will be shared with federal partners.
How do I know if my report will be taken seriously?
- State and local law enforcement agencies are trained to recognize behaviors and indicators of terrorism and terrorism–related crime. If you are unsure, call and discuss your concern.
- It the information you provide indicates suspicious activity, a suspicious activity report will be generated by the law enforcement agency.
- Suspicious activity includes behavior not appearance and does not include factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.