In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security put together a memo documenting suspicious behaviors people engage in at hotels indicating they may be terrorists (PDF of full memo (100k)).
Possible indicators of terrorist behaviors at hotels: The observation of multiple indicators may represent—based on the specific facts or circumstances—possible terrorist behaviors at
- Not providing professional or personal details on hotel registrations—such as place of employment, contact information, or place of residence.
- Using payphones for outgoing calls or making front desk requests in person to avoid using the room telephone.
- Interest in using Internet cafes, despite hotel Internet availability.
- Non-VIPs who request that their presence at a hotel not be divulged.
- Extending departure dates one day at a time for prolonged periods.
- Refusal of housekeeping services for extended periods.
- Extended stays with little baggage or unpacked luggage.
- Access or attempted access to areas of the hotel normally restricted to staff.
- Use of cash for large transactions or a credit card in someone else’s name.
- Requests for specific rooms, floors, or other locations in the hotel.
- Use of a third party to register.
- Multiple visitors or deliveries to one individual or room.
- Unusual interest in hotel access, including main and alternate entrances, emergency exits, and surrounding routes.
- Use of entrances and exits that avoid the lobby or other areas with cameras and hotel personnel.
- Attempting to access restricted parking areas with a vehicle or leaving unattended vehicles near the hotel building.
- Unusual interest in hotel staff operating procedures, shift changes, closed-circuit TV systems, fire alarms, and security systems.
- Leaving the property for several days and then returning.
- Abandoning a room and leaving behind clothing, toiletries, or other items.
- Noncompliance with other hotel policies.
Thank goodness we’ve got the best and brightest figuring out how to spot terrorists.