What is Terrorism?

Terrorism is commonly defined as violent acts (or threat of violent acts) intended to create fear (terror), perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal, and which deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.

Recognizing Suspicious Activity

  • Unusual requests for information (security, habits)
  • Unusual Interest in High Risk or Symbolic Targets (photographing, note-taking, videotaping, using binoculars)
  • Fraudulent identification (passports, driver’s licence)
  • Unusual purchases or thefts; pay attention to any purchases, rentals or thefts of uniforms, explosives, weapons, ammunition, propane bottles, toxic chemicals, or vehicles able to contain or haul hazardous materials
  • Large, unusual, high-risk deliveries; watch for vehicles delivering hazardous materials parked or driving in an inappropriate area, unusual deliveries of chemicals or fertilizer, unattended boxes in public access places, or unusual mail
  • Numerous visitors, perhaps those who arrive and leave at unusual hours, trying to be unnoticed or acting in a suspicious manner
  • Unusual activity, such as strong odour coming from buildings or vehicles, someone who is over-dressed for the weather, people in places where they don’t belong
  • Avoiding community contact; they may only let you into their apartment with plenty of prior notice, change their locks often, keep certain rooms off limits, or never allow maid service or deliveries in a hotel room.


Radicalization is the course of changing someone’s socially accepted behaviour into terrorism.  It is a psychological process often influenced by peer groups and terrorist causes. 

Radicalization has been a growing concern, particularly amongst youth today. 

To learn more about radicalization, please click on the link below:


All law enforcement intelligence and emergency personnel have been working diligently to fight against terrorism by apprehending terrorists and preventing an attack from occurring on Canadian soil.

The Hamilton Police Service is committed to the safety of the communities in which we serve and will continue to work towards the fight against terrorism.

Provincial Anti-Terrorism Section (PATS)

PATS is an OPP led operation involving all major police services in Ontario including the Hamilton Police Service.

The Section is mandated to conduct multi-jurisdictional strategic intelligence operations to proactively address terrorism and extremism in Ontario. Efforts are made to identify and monitor suspected terrorists, terrorist groups, and individuals suspected of providing logistical and financial support for terrorist operations in efforts of anticipating and preventing criminal acts.

What to do

If you spot suspicious activity, do not confront the individuals involved. Make note of Size (Jot down the number of people, gender, ages, and physical descriptions). Activity (Describe exactly what they are doing), Location (Provide exact location), Uniform (Describe what they are wearing, including shoes). Time (Provide date, time, and duration of activity), Equipment (Describe vehicle, make, color etc., license plate, camera, guns, etc) (Homeland Security News and Information)

Report suspicious activity to the Hamilton Police Service at 911 (emergency) / 905-546-4925 (non-emergency)

Report information regarding terrorism, criminal extremism or suspicious activities which could pose a threat to national safety and security to:


Terrorism Awareness

Related Websites

National Terror Alert – Homeland Security


Anti-Terrorism Act

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Public Safety Canada

Canadian Security Intelligence Service