The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Louisville, Ky., released a list of actions University employees should be aware of as possible terrorist activities.
A letter was sent to all Kentucky campuses asking students and faculty to alert the FBI or local law enforcement if they notice anything suspicious. Perrye Turner, the special agent in charge of the Louisville division, wrote the letter to the universities.
“Preventing terrorism is a community effort,” Turner said in the letter. “By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism.”
Jeremiah Johnson, president of the Student Government Association and student regent, received the letter and sent it to all SGA senators.
“I’ve had one or two people asking me if they should be worried,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s something we need to be worried about, but we need to know what’s going on before we’re blindsided with anything.”
Attached to the letter is a flyer titled “Potential Indicators of Self-Radicalization and Extremist Activity on Campus.” The first section of the handout lists possible suspicious behavior of self-radicalization, meaning an individual has adopted extreme political, social or religious views.
At the bottom of the flyer, employees and students are informed of steps to make if they witness one or more of these suspicious behaviors. The document ends with the FBI Louisville Division phone number and email.
Johnson said the focus of the letter is one faculty at Kentucky campuses because they have a better view of the University.
“(The faculty) are dealing with people from all over the country and the world,” Johnson said. “It’s a melting pot here of people with different religious and social backgrounds.”
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said the University plans to hold workshops next semester, informing faculty of suspicious behavior.
“The earlier this can be reported the better chance you have of dealing with it,” Robertson said. “You want to be as proactive as you can.”
Robertson urges anyone who knows of the indicators of extremist activity to report them as soon as possible.
Kentucky campuses are not the only organizations the FBI has reached out to. The most popular places are public areas such as Internet cafes or farm supply stores. Each list has indicators very specific to the location.
These flyers have been released as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which investigates suspicious activity. This division of the FBI is located in 103 cities nationwide, 71 of which were created after 9/11.
INSIDE THE STORY”
- Isolation from family
- Name change to one that is aligned with an ideology
- Change in physical appearance: dress, growing/cutting hair to a length or style atypical to the individual, adding or removing tattoos, or wearing symbolic jewelry
- Change in social affiliation: may dissociate from former friends/relationships in favor of people who share the new ideology
- Adherence to extremist religious doctrine and/or political affiliation
The handout also lists potential indicators of extremist activity including:
- Communication with or links to extremists
- Consumption or sharing of videos and/or propaganda from radical media sources
- Active participation in blogs, chatrooms, or password-protected web site known to be frequented by extremists
- Weapon training: paramilitary exercises; acquisition of gear, weaponry, or explosive device components
- Expressed acceptance, approval and/or intent to conduct an attack
- Use of cover terms or “code words” to mask true meaning of events or other illicit activities
- Suspicious foreign travel and/or suspicious travel patterns: one-way tickets, claims of lost passports
Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.