How to report a suspected terrorist

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PC Rachel Swift with Meg the sniffer dog for Police traffic feature at Woodall Services
sp73387 PC Rachel Swift with Meg the sniffer dog for Police traffic feature at Woodall Services

Nottinghamshire Police have released a statement advising how to notice and report a suspected terrorist.

A spokesperson from Nottinghamshire Police said: “Unless you trust your instincts and tell us, we won’t be able to judge whether the information you have is important or not. The best piece of advice we can give is: if you suspect it, report it.”

They advise that if you notice a suspicious bag, behaviour or vehicle which you think could cause an immediate threat to public safety, you should call 999 immediately.

If you see something that strikes you as unusual or out of place, you should contact the police Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

A spokesperson from Nottinghamshire Police added: “If you come across terrorist or violent extremist content online that you think might be illegal, you can now report this online using the government’s secure online form.”

Some examples of illegal terrorist or extremist internet content include:

Speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence

Videos of violence with messages of ‘glorification’ or praise for terrorists

Postings inciting people to commit acts of terrorism

Violent extremism messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group

Bomb-making instructions

All reports are anonymous but make sure you save the web address (URL) of the website that you think is suspicious.

To help spot a potential terrorist you should ask yourself the following questions:

What has changed – could it be significant?

What about the people they associate with?

Have you noticed activity where you live which is not the normal day-to-day routine?

Storage - lock-ups, garages and sheds can all be used by terrorists to store equipment. Are you suspicious of anyone renting commercial property?

Chemicals – do you know someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?

Terrorists use protective equipment because handling chemicals is dangerous. Maybe you’ve seen goggles or masks dumped somewhere?

Funding – cheque and credit card fraud are ways of generating cash. Have you seen any suspicious transactions?

Terrorists use multiple identities – do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?

Surveillance - observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

Transport - if you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious? Terrorists need to travel – meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they’re going and who they are meeting?

Communication - anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical forms of communication for terrorists. Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobiles? Has it made you suspicious? Do you know someone who visits terrorist-related websites?