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iWATCH and Capital Watch: How To Describe or Report Suspicious Behavior

iwatchYou can only identify a terrorist threat by observing or hearing about suspicious activity that may lead to a criminal act.

Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are NOT suspicious. The public should only report suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or package, or someone breaking into a restricted area). Only reports that document behavior that is reasonably indicative ofcriminal activity related to terrorism will be shared  with federal partners.

If you see or hear someone engaged in suspicious behavior, here are some general tips and guidelines on what to describe:


  • What was being said
  • What were they doing
  • How were they acting


  • Sex
  • Race
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Build (medium, heavy)
  • Hair (color, length, include facial hair)
  • Complexion (light, dark, olive)
  • Peculiarities (scars, tattoos, missing limbs)
  • Clothing (from head to toe, style, etc.)
  • Weapons (if any)
  • Method of transportation (direction, vehicle, etc.)


  • License plate and state (most important)
  • Year, make, model and color
  • Body type (2-door, 4-door, van, SUV)
  • Number of passengers
  • Damage or anything unusual (logos, etc.)

Report Suspicious Activity

  • To report immediate threats or emergencies, call 911
  • To report anonymous tips or information, text to 50411
  • To report suspicious activity or behavior, call (202) 727-9099
  • Make a report using iWATCH (What is this?)