(U//FOUO) San Diego Fusion Center: The Role of the Firefighter Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO)

Terrorist Targeting of First Responders and the Role of the Firefighter Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO)

  • 4 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • June 5, 2009


(U//FOUO) Valued Access and Role of the Firefighter TLO: Firefighters’ roles as a first responder and an emergency medical service allow for unique access to people and information, which can generate invaluable tips and leads. Because the presence and effectiveness of firefighters mitigate the impact of a terrorist incident involving massive human casualties, terrorists have historically conducted preoperational planning that target firefighting agencies in order to limit the effectiveness of their reaction capabilities.

(U//FOUO) The following case studies provide details on how and why terrorists have historically conducted targeting and preoperational planning on firefighting organizations. Additionally, this bulletin will address related terrorist techniques and activities that will help the Fire TLO identify and report terrorist related activity.

(U//FOUO) Terrorist surveillance techniques and indicators of terrorist activities:

• Unusual or prolonged interest in security measures or personnel, entry points and access controls, or perimeter fences or walls.
• Dry runs: attempting to gain access to secure facilities or bypassing security.
• Unusual behavior such as watching or documenting personnel or vehicles entering or leaving designated facilities or parking areas.
• Attempts to determine the number of security personnel and shift changes.
• Increase in anonymous telephone or e‐mail threats to facilities in conjunction with suspected surveillance incidents.
• Two or three individuals, on foot, demonstrating a combination of observation and recording data (i.e., note‐taking, photography, filming).

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