FBI: No Evidence Of Terror Links In NSA Shooting

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

There are no apparent links to terrorism in an incident Wednesday morning when an SUV tried to ram a security gate at the military base where the National Security Agency is headquartered, FBI officials said.

At approximately 7 a.m. ET, a black SUV carrying three people attempted to breach an access gate to the NSA campus, prompting police officers to fire on the vehicle until it ran into a concrete barrier. Three people — an NSA police officer, a bystander and the driver of the SUV — were injured in the confrontation, according to the FBI, which is leading the investigation.

Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the attempted breach, but no evidence of terrorism has been uncovered, FBI spokesman Special Agent Gordon Johnson said Wednesday afternoon.

“We believe there is no indication to think this is anything more than an isolated incident,” Johnson told reporters at briefing on the NSA campus, according to the Baltimore Sun. “We believe there is no nexus at all to terrorism.”

The bizarre incident occurred at Security Gate 1 of Fort Meade, the U.S. Army base home to the NSA and the military’s cyber command. Aerial footage of the scene showed a black SUV with bullet holes in its windshield that appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier. The vehicle had come to a rest in a walled off section of the security checkpoint, facing the opposite direction as the incoming traffic.

The vehicle had New York plates and is believed to be a rental car, Johnson said. He declined to reveal whether or not the occupants were armed or had exchanged gunfire with the NSA police officers.

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All three of the SUV occupants are in custody and being questioned, Johnson said.

“We are trying to talk to them to understand why they were here,” Johnson told reporters, adding that investigators do not believe law enforcement was pursuing the vehicle before it reached the security gate.

Wednesday’s incident is reminiscent of similar episode at NSA in 2015, when two men dressed as women smashed a stolen car into a security gate. NSA guards opened fire, killing one man and injuring the other.

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