The Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Americans to snitch on each other if they see anything “suspicious” at malls and shopping centres in New Hampshire this holiday season.

The agency is urging shop owners and shoppers to “report suspicious activity to local authorities”, as well as ramping up display propaganda, as part of its ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign.

“At DHS, homeland security begins with hometown security. We’re all safer when everyone is alert and engaged…” an Orwellian sounding press release from the DHS states.

Several businesses have joined forces with the DHS to promote the snitch program, they include Mall of America, Walmart, Simon Property Group and the Building Owners and Managers Association.

The press release states that the overall purpose is to “raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.”

The FBI is also taking part in the campaign, with the businesses also carrying out “training exercises”. It is not clear what the drills consist of.

“We have seen the value of public vigilance in thwarting terrorism and crime time and again, so remember: if you see something that doesn’t look right, report it to local authorities,” writes John Cohen, principal deputy under secretary of DHS for intelligence and analysis and counterterrorism coordinator.

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