As the 10-year anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks approaches, the Department of Homeland Security has launched a national television campaign to remind citizens to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to authorities.
The government agency announced the public-service campaign in a blog post Wednesday by Secretary Janet Napolitano. "As I've said in the past, hometown security is the key to homeland security," she wrote. "Time and again, we've seen terrorist attacks thwarted by alert individuals who notify authorities when something just doesn't seem right ... security is a shared responsibility and we all have a role to play."
The TV spots are inspired by a local campaign that began across New York subways and buses in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The Big Apple's Metropolitan Transit Authority owns the rights to the campaign idea -- and its memorable tagline, "If You See Something, Say Something" -- and has licensed that tagline to Homeland Security for its anti-terror and anti-crime efforts. The MTA's work has proved successful, and was credited with thwarting a potentially deadly attack in New York's Times Square last May.
In one of the national spots (watch below), a woman exits a cab at a train station only to walk in and drop off a bag unattended. With dark, thumping music in the background, the voiceover says: "Maybe you see something suspicious but you don't want to get involved. 'It's nothing,' you think. Can you be sure?"
Along with the TV spots, the the department is running two 30-second radio ads to help raise awareness; one takes place is a shopping mall setting and another at a sporting event.
It's unclear if the radio and TV ads were created internally or with the help of an agency; Homeland Security representatives didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.
While the ads don't reference the 9/11 attacks or other terror attempts specifically, it's clear the U.S. government is on heightened alert in the weeks before the 10th anniversary of the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The launch of the campaign comes just a day after President Barack Obama, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, said he's especially concerned by the potential of a "lone-wolf" terrorist incident similar to the one that caused mayhem in Norway last month.