The Paris attacks are an example of the fact that terrorist operations usually begin with extensive planning. You can help prevent and detect terrorism — and other types of crime — by watching out for suspicious activities and reporting them to the proper authorities.

These are some signs to look for:

1. Surveillance

Someone recording or monitoring activities. This may include the use of cameras, note taking, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps, or using binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices.
[Note: Strangers have been observed using recording devices outside several community buildings.]

2. Elicitation

People or organizations attempting to gain information about security capabilities, or people. Elicitation attempts may be made by mail, email, telephone, or in person. This could also include eavesdropping or friendly conversation.
[Note: Strangers have entered some synagogues and attempted to sit in on services and I one case a board meeting].

3. Tests of Security

Any attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches, attempts to penetrate physical security barriers, or monitor procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

4. Impersonation

People who don’t seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else.