SEOUL — South Korean officials, in the midst of a high-level terror alert, will start distributing a booklet designed to help encourage the public to identify and report possible terrorists, officials said Thursday.

The Korean-language booklet, titled “How to Detect Terrorist Suspects,” will be handed out at major public gathering places, including train stations and airports. The guide was written by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, officials said, and draws upon general information reportedly provided by U.S. intelligence officials.

Both U.S. and South Korean military forces are on tighter security alerts, after a top al-Qaida leader included South Korea in a list of countries to attack in a videotaped message earlier this month. South Korea is a target because of its deployment of troops to Iraq.

U.S. bases and government institutions in South Korea have higher force protection levels in place, and U.S. Forces Korea continues a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. peninsula-wide curfew for its soldiers, family members and civilian employees.

The new pamphlet has been in the works for months, NIS officials said, but the timing of its distribution is “very good.”

The booklet lists several actions that should raise suspicions, including leaving bags behind in public areas, carrying large amounts of cash and not ordering “alcoholic beverages at bars.”

The pamphlet also advised the public to watch out for people who wear thick, layered clothing in warm weather.

South Korean civil rights groups immediately denounced the pamphlet as vague and as being more likely to cause undue panic than to stop a possible terror attack.

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