(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Indicators of Suspicious Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Activity


  • 1 page
  • For Official Use Only
  • December 27, 2010


(U//FOUO) Law enforcement and first responders may encounter chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) related material or equipment at private residences, businesses, or other sites not normally associated with such activities. There are legitimate reasons for possessing such material or equipment, but in some cases their presence can indicate intent or capability to build CBR weapons, particularly when other suspicious circumstances exist.

(U//FOUO) Potential Indicators of Suspicious Activity: A single indicator of CBR activity may not be conclusive, but combinations of indicators, including those associated with other suspicious activity, warrant thorough and careful investigation. Law enforcement and first responders should be vigilant for suspicious activities and report them to a Joint Terrorism Task Force via a Suspicious Activity Report, or contact the nearest state and major urban area fusion center.

— (U//FOUO) Unusual or unpleasant odors, chemical fires, brightly colored stains, or corroded or rusted metal fixtures in apartments, hotel or motel rooms, self-storage units, or garages.
— (U//FOUO) Unexplained presence of equipment, containers, or material that could be used for radiation shielding or protection, such as lead, concrete, or steel.
— (U//FOUO) Unexplained presence of radiation detection or identification equipment.
— (U//FOUO) Damage to clothing, evidence of serious illness, or injuries such as burns, skin lesions, infections, or missing hands or fingers.
— (U//FOUO) Presence of potential precursors for biological agent production, such as castor beans or bacterial growth materials.
— (U//FOUO) Laboratory equipment such as Bunsen burners, microscopes, and scientific glassware; personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles, and gloves; household items such as plant seeds, strainers, coffee grinders, and filters; and common household chemicals such as acetone located together in places that are unusual, hidden, or disguised.
— (U//FOUO) An individual’s reluctance or inability to explain the presence of toxic chemicals, radioactive materials, biological organisms, or related equipment.
— (U//FOUO) Presence of CBR training manuals, such as The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook or The Anarchist Cookbook.
— (U//FOUO) Chemical containers discarded in dumpsters.
— (U//FOUO) Evidence of unexplained animal deaths.
— (U//FOUO) Security measures that appear inappropriate for the location they protect.

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