Guidance from TSA

Information on Tuesday’s attack targeting the Zaventem International Airport and Maelbeek Metro Station in Brussels, Belgium, continues to emerge. Already, reports indicate that the perpetrators involved in the attacks exhibited a number of terrorist tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) that are consistent with other recent incidents. Recognition of these TTPs will inform future security efforts to mitigate terrorism.

Based on common terrorist TTP, security personnel, employees, and patrons, in public settings, including public transit, should:

  • Expect
    • Terrorists employing multiple teams with small arms and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) who attempt to launch multiple attacks against multiple locations near simultaneously and/or in close succession
    • Suicide tactics
    • The targeting of “soft targets” with limited security, or strikes against crowds of people outside the security perimeter at airport and stadium entrances, gates, and vendor areas.
  • Report all things, persons, or activity that may appear out of the norm, including:
    • Persons routinely appearing over an extended period of time at the same location; who may be tracking, timing, sketching, photographing, or recording secure areas or security operations
    • Persons engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by security personnel
    • Unwarranted observation of, or questions about facility equipment, security drills, or procedures
    • Persons showing unusual interest in sensitive information about security measures, access controls, personnel, entry points, and hours of operation
    • Presence of trespassers or other suspicious individuals on property
    • Persons attempting to disguise or change their appearance
    • Persons wearing excessive or odd configurations of clothing that could be used to conceal a weapon or device, including a single glove on one hand
    • Bags or containers left unattended at or near facilities, on buses or rail cars, or along roads and routes transited by large numbers of people
    • Damaged property or infrastructure that could either indicate previous, or prevent future unwanted access
  • Be aware that attackers may attempt to blend in, but upon approach may exhibit behavior that indicates an inordinate amount of stress, anxiety, or nervousness such a profuse sweating or irritability, or any other behavior that might cause concern
  • Focus Security efforts on areas and times where large numbers of people congregate in confined spaces, such as metro stations, airports, buses, stadiums, shopping malls, night clubs, and restaurants
  • Routinely, per shift, consider all security checklist items
  • Test and validate communications equipment and processes as effective communication is an absolute priority

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