CECOM remains vigilant with SAR

By Carly GarrettApril 26, 2024

Graphic about Suspicious Activity Reporting
Suspicious Activity Reporting plays a pivotal role in our proactive approach to countering potential threats and ensuring the safety of our nation. (Photo Credit: Courtesy graphic) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — In the vigilant eyes of our CECOM community, the mantra “see something, say something” is not just a slogan; it’s a crucial part of maintaining our security posture. Suspicious Activity Reporting within the Army is a proactive measure to combat potential threats and safeguard the nation’s defense mechanisms.

SAR serves as the frontline defense against terrorism and espionage within the workplace. By encouraging individuals to report unusual or suspicious behavior, SAR fosters a culture of alertness and responsibility. This collective vigilance is essential in detecting and preventing activities that could compromise national security.

Fort Dix Six

In the spring of 2007, a potential tragedy was averted thanks to the power of community vigilance and the effective use of SAR. The incident involved a group of six individuals, later referred to as the “Fort Dix Six,” who plotted an attack against Fort Dix, New Jersey. The observant actions of ordinary citizens and the subsequent law enforcement response prevented what could have been a devastating attack on American soil.

The plot came to light when a Circuit City clerk, demonstrating exemplary civic duty, reported a suspicious video to the authorities. The video depicted ten men shooting weapons at a firing range and shouting jihadist slogans. This act of reporting was not just a fulfillment of a civic responsibility; it was a testament to the effectiveness of the “see something, say something” campaign that encourages citizens to report suspicious activities.

The clerk’s report triggered an investigation that unveiled the sinister plot to attack Fort Dix and potentially kill scores of Soldiers. The group had conducted surveillance, obtained maps of the base, and attempted to purchase weapons illegally. Their plans were disrupted by the combined efforts of local police and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

This incident underscores the importance of suspicious activity reporting as a cornerstone of anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering efforts. SAR is a critical tool in the arsenal of law enforcement agencies, enabling them to piece together seemingly unrelated incidents to uncover and prevent criminal activities. The Fort Dix case is a prime example of how SAR can be instrumental in thwarting terrorist plots.

Suspicious activity indicators

Recognizing suspicious activity involves being aware of certain indicators. These can include unauthorized attempts to access secure areas, impersonation of personnel, misrepresentation of identity, theft of sensitive materials, and cyberattacks.

Each of these behaviors could signify a deeper threat and warrants immediate reporting for further investigation.

People drawing or measuring important buildings, people asking questions about security forces, security measures, or sensitive information, a briefcase, backpack, suitcase, or a package left unattended are all examples of what suspicious activity can look like.

Reporting suspicious activity

When suspicious activity is observed, it’s imperative to report it to the appropriate points of contact. This ensures that potential threats are swiftly assessed and addressed by the appropriate authorities.

The timely reporting can be the difference between a thwarted threat and a successful attack. Methods to report suspicious activity include:

1.   Emergency: Dial 911 (if on APG, ensure the dispatcher is aware you are located on the installation)

2.   iSalute - Suspicious Activity Reporting: If you have information that may be of interest to U.S. Army Counterintelligence, you can submit an iSALUTE Suspicious Activity Report online. Alternatively, you can report by telephone at 1-800-CALL-SPY (1-800-225-5779) (CONUS ONLY).

3.   Local Law Enforcement: If the suspicious activity is occurring on a military installation, you can also report it to your local Military Police unit.

Non-emergency numbers:

Aberdeen Police – (410) 272-2121

Harford County Sheriff’s Department – (410) 838-6600

APG Police – (410) 306-2222

4.   Chain of Command: You can also report suspicious activity to your immediate supervisor or through your chain of command.

5.   Antiterrorism Officer: Your organization’s antiterrorism officer can assist you with reporting any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

CECOM Antiterrorism Officers:

Ms. Carly Garrett


(520) 671-1180

Mr. Jason Obitz


(443) 861-7245

When reporting, be sure to include the following items in your report:

•     Day & time activity occurred

•     Where activity occurred

•     How many people were involved

•     How many and type of vehicles involved

•     What type of activity

•     Describe what was seen or heard

•     Provide pictures, if any were taken

The Fort Dix Six episode is a powerful reminder of the significance of suspicious activity reporting. It is a call to action for all citizens to remain vigilant and proactive in reporting any activity that raises concern.

The story of the foiled Fort Dix plot is not just about the prevention of an attack; it is about the affirmation of a community’s resilience and the strength of a nation’s commitment to safeguarding its people.

As a CECOM community, we can continue to keep each other safe if we understand and implement the importance of suspicious activity reporting. There is no report too small or unimportant— “If you see something, say something” and help keep our community safe.