National Insider Threat Awareness Month (Are You Prepared)

  • Published
  • By Special Agent Ashley Denemark
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Det. 410

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- September was National Insider Threat Awareness month.  “Developing insider threat awareness, is about enabling employees to recognize the indicators to deter, detect, and mitigate actions by insiders who may represent a threat to national security,” said  Garry Reid, the DoD Director for Defense Intelligence. The indicators of an insider threat can be divided into risk factors and warning behaviors. The first group can be further sub-divided into either static (dispositional) or dynamic factors.

Static risk factors are predispositions, which change very slowly or not at all. Examples of this are history of violence (especially with intimate partners), mental health issues, or substance abuse. Dynamic risk factors change rapidly and are usually situational or a personal stressor. Examples of situational factors are accessibility to weapons or geographical isolation. Examples of stressors include financial issues, occupational trouble or relational turmoil.

As for warning behaviors, these are changes that signal to others a progression on a path toward violence. Some examples of these behaviors include fixation, perceived injustice, presence of a grievance, withdrawal from normal life-patterns, or direct threats. Additionally, perpetrators do not “just snap”--there is always a build-up of triggers that culminate in a “last straw” event.

Identifying these risk factors or warning behaviors in someone can help prevent future incidents. Military members, civilian personnel and family members who observe suspicious activities or warning behaviors, should contact AFOSI directly or submit an anonymous tip. At Laughlin Air Force Base, the direct line for the local AFOSI office is (830) 298-5158 or DSN 732-5158.

To submit an anonymous tip, anyone can send a text message starting with ‘AFOSI’ then followed by any information, to 847411 (TIP411). It is also possible to report information online at or through the app Tip411 (available from the respective stores for Apple and Android). 

For anyone wishing to learn more on this topic, more information is available online at the AFOSI website or through the local AFOSI office.