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Potential Signs of Terrorism

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Eliciting Information

Questioning individuals at a level beyond mere curiosity about particular facets of a facility's or building's purpose, operations, security procedures, etc.

Testing of Security

Deliberate interactions with, or challenges to, installations, personnel or systems that reveal physical, personnel or cyber security capabilities.


Taking pictures or video of facilities, buildings or infrastructure in a manner that would arouse suspicion. Examples include taking pictures or video of:

  • Infrequently used access points
  • Personnel performing security functions
  • Security-related equipment (fencing, security cameras, etc.)


Demonstrating unusual interest in facilities, buildings or infrastructures beyond mere casual or professional (e.g., engineers) interest. Examples include:

  • Observation through binoculars
  • Taking notes
  • Attempting to measure distances, etc.


Purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, etc. Acquiring military uniforms, decals, flight manuals, passes, or badges.


People who do not seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, establishment, etc. Suspicious border crossings, impersonation of law enforcement, military personnel/or company employees.


Suspicious transactions involving large cash payments, deposits, or withdrawals.

Materials Acquisition or Storage

Acquisition and/or storage of unusual quantities of materials, such as cell phones, pagers, fuel, chemicals, toxic materials and timers.

Acquisition of Expertise

Attempts to obtain or conduct training in security concepts, military weapons or tactics.

Weapons Discovery

Discovery of unusual amounts of weapons or explosives.

About Us

The Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) was created as a partnership between the Virginia State Police and Virginia Department of Emergency Management to improve the Commonwealth of Virginia's preparedness against terrorist attacks and to deter criminal activity. The Center provides a vital conduit for information exchange allowing the VFC to communicate with its partners.
The information provided to the VFC may be used by national entities to assist them in formulating a strategic view of the threats facing our nation. The VFC is also responsible for the rapid and efficient dissemination of threat and protective information affecting Virginia to assist partners in their homeland security responsibilities. The VFC operates on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis, and is staffed by personnel representing several state and federal agencies.
The VFC has partnerships in the following areas:

  • Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement
  • Military Personnel
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Emergency Response
  • Private Industries
  • Public


The primary mission of the Virginia Fusion Center is to fuse together key counterterrorism and criminal intelligence resources from local, state, and federal agencies as well as private industries in a secure, centralized location, to facilitate information collection, prioritization, classification, analysis, and sharing, in order to better defend the Commonwealth against terrorist threats and/or attack and to deter criminal activity.

The secondary mission is to act in support of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC), centralize information and resources to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, and effective response in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, in order to neutralize the situation and allow an effective recovery process to be implemented and managed.



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