Case Example: An In-Person Visit Makes the Difference in a Threat Assessment

This case example shows how conducting an in-person visit as part of the assessment process led to foiling an attack.

Multiple tips are called in to the police department to report suspicious behavior for the same person. Each tip relays information about bomb-building on his property. An initial follow-up on the tips shows no online activity, weapon purchasing history, or past criminal activity that would indicate a possible threat. However, with the accumulation of multiple reports, a decision is made to make an in-person visit to the person of concern. The individual seemingly displays no warning signs until the officer asks about his girlfriend, at which point the individual launches into a tirade against women, saying that he will make sure that women understand his power once and for all—at least the women he leaves alive. This raises further concern, and a search warrant is obtained. Bombs, bomb-making materials, and an attack plan on a local girls high school are found. The individual of concern is arrested. Taking the time to do the in-person follow-up is what made the difference and helped successfully prevent an attack.

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