FBI describes behavior that might lead to truck bomb explosions

| 3/29/2002

The FBI recently analyzed truck bombings to determine "indicators" that might help citizens identify, in advance, potential terrorist activity involving trucks.

The bureau hopes people aware of such behavior would call their local FBI office in an effort to help "preempt" terrorist activity. In addition, individuals can report incidents online at www.nipc.gov/incident/cirr.htm.

The FBI added that while the presence of an indicator does not "in and of itself suggest terrorism as a motive," it might trigger further investigation.

Some warning signs: Theft of chemicals or explosives; theft of respirators or chemical-mixing devices; rental of storage space for chemicals; delivery of chemicals to storage spaces; theft of a van or truck capable of carrying more than one ton; chemical fires or toxic odors in apartments, hotel rooms or self-storage units; small explosions in wooded areas, which could be bomb tests; reports of hospital patients suffering losses of fingers or hands; chemical burns that remain untreated; surveillance of potential targets; and efforts to obtain blueprints that might detail potential targets.

The warning signs appear on the web site of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, which is responsible for protecting important computer networks and physical infrastructures, such as power plants or telephone towers.

The agency published the indicators to reach out to the community and advise citizens to be on the lookout, but there's no indication of imminent danger, the FBI said.