National Security Awareness

Make it part of your plan

Threats to national security can come in any form - biological or chemical, an explosive device, a computer virus, or a simple bank transaction. Canada is not immune. If you suspect you have encountered terrorist planning activities call 1-800-420-5805.

Know what to look for

Threats to national security can come in any form. Canada is not immune. By working together, knowing what to look for and what to do with information we receive, we can make a difference, ensuring safety and security for all of us.

Although the ideologies and motivations may differ, terrorists share one thing in common — they plan their attacks. This planning exposes indicators that can become apparent in the days, weeks or months prior to an attack. The discovery of one of these indicators, when put in a broader context, could help prevent an attack.

The presence of any of the indicators contained within this document on its own does not necessarily indicate criminal activity, however, the likelihood increases as more indicators are present. Please remember - never attempt to take the law into your own hands.

Logistical Support

Documents and Equipment

  • Fraudulent or altered identification (driver's licenses, Social Insurance Number (SIN) cards, passports)
  • Multiple passports or a history of travel to countries of concern
  • Surveillance equipment - cameras, GPS units
  • Short-wave, two-way radios and scanners
  • Multiple cellular phones or prepaid calling cards
  • Unauthorized uniforms (security/military/police) or official looking ID cards/badges
  • Training manuals (aircraft operation, scuba diving, explosives, weapons, tactics)
  • Photographs, diagrams, blueprints, maps or videos of high-profile targets

Fundraising and Financing

  • Large sums of cash or cheques/money orders sequentially numbered
  • High volume of overseas wire transfers to countries of concern
  • Buying or renting goods, services or lodgings with cash or by fraud
  • Intimidation of individuals to contribute money to questionable organizations

Target Selection

Site Surveillance

  • Multiple sightings of the same person, vehicle, or activity
  • Sudden presence of panhandlers, street vendors
  • False alarms requiring emergency responses with individuals observing procedures
  • Damage to perimeter security (breaches in fences)
  • Computer hacking attempts to access sites with target data
  • Attempts to smuggle contraband into a building

Activities of Individuals

  • Making unusual security inquiries
  • Photographing security systems, procedures or guard locations
  • Drawing pictures or taking notes
  • Discrete use of cameras or other observational equipment
  • Wearing improper attire for the area or season
  • Loitering at bus or train stops or sitting in a parked car for extended periods
  • Exhibiting suspicious behaviour—staring or quickly looking away from people or vehicles

Means of Destruction

Theft, Sales or Seizures

  • Blasting caps, fuses, or chemicals that can be combined to create explosives (fuel oil, nitrates)
  • Large amounts of high-nitrate fertilizer
  • Improvised explosive devices
  • Agricultural sprayers, crop dusters, foggers and other dispensing systems
  • Poisonous or flammable items

Rentals and Deliveries

  • Rental of self-storage space(s)
  • Chemical deliveries from the manufacturer to a self-storage facility
  • Large deliveries of chemicals to residential addresses


  • Explosions in secluded areas
  • Chemical fires, toxic odours, bright stains or rusted metal fixtures in apartments, hotel rooms or storage
  • Individuals with chemical burns to skin
  • Suspicious activities in apartments or hotel rooms— refusal of maid service, occupants seldom seen, excessive traffic in and out
  • Break-ins or equipment tampering at water treatment or food processing facilities
  • Inquiries about chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear (CBRN) sales, storage or transportation points

Personal and Social Indicators


  • No fixed address or known employment yet seems to have a place of residence and source of income
  • Militaristic training in weapons or self-defence
  • Visible anxiety when discussing themselves or when speaking to authority figures


  • Living in a house with few furnishings/sudden surge in tenants
  • Tendency to seclusion/no contact with neighbours
  • Unusually high security for residential location
  • Arrivals and departures at odd hours
  • Visitors arriving/departing through garage or visibly obscured areas
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