Arlington, VA

With the “specific, credible” but unconfirmed threat of a terror attack looming this weekend, Arlington County authorities are asking residents to remain vigilant.

Already, there has been a noticeable uptick in calls to Arlington police for reports of suspicious persons, suspicious cars and objects, and suspicious activity. Using the motto “see something, say something,” police are asking citizens to keep it up.

Arlington County issued the following alert this evening:

This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001. Residents of Arlington County may be aware of warnings issued by federal, state, and local agencies regarding potential attacks that may occur during this time. Police Chief M. Douglas Scott would like to assure residents that the Arlington County Police Department has plans in place to address needs as they occur. The police department would like to remind our residents of ways that they can assist in preventing future acts of terrorism.

The Arlington County Police Department joins our federal and local partners in the “See Something Say Something” campaign. The campaign is a simple and effective program developed to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism, crime, and other threats and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities. Remember that the suspicious activity does not need to be criminal in nature to report it to the Arlington County Police.

The 7 Signs of Terrorism awareness are listed below:

1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices, or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.

2. Elicitation: Attempts to obtain operation, security, and personnel-related information regarding a key facility. May be made by mail, fax, e-mail, telephone, or in person.

3. Tests of Security: Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

4. Acquiring Supplies: Attempts to improperly acquire items that could be used in a terrorist act. May include the acquisition of explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement or military equipment, uniforms, identification badges, or the equipment to manufacture false identification.

5. Suspicious Persons: Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to his/her behavior, including unusual questions or statements he/she make.

6. Dry Runs/Trial Runs: Behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act without actually committing the act. Activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.

7. Deploying Assets: Placing people, equipment, and supplies into position to commit the act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

Arlington County residents are encouraged to contact the police if they observe suspicious situations by calling 9-1-1 or the non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

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