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One hurt after shooting erupts outside NSA headquarters

The National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland is no longer allowed to scoop up and store metadata -- telephone numbers, dates and times of calls, but not the content -- from millions of Americans who have no connection to terrorism
NSA/AFP/File
A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site

A shooting erupted Wednesday outside the suburban Washington headquarters of the National Security Agency, a secretive intelligence organization responsible for global US electronic eavesdropping, leaving at least one person injured, officials said.

NBC News aired aerial images of what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs outside the NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland.

A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site, and bullet holes were visible in the vehicle's front windows.

"We can confirm there has been one person injured and we don't know how the injuries occurred," an NSA spokesman told AFP.

The local ABC affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested.

The NSA said the situation was under control, advising motorists that a highway leading to the complex was closed in both direction "due to a police investigation."

"The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected."

A law enforcement source said the FBI's Baltimore office was handling the investigation but it was "too soon to tell" whether it was an attack.

They are "still trying to ascertain the facts," the source said.

Saul LOEB (AFP/File)

- 'Puzzle Palace' -

The NSA is the premier US signals intelligence agency, eavesdropping on electronic communications and hacking computers of US adversaries and suspects worldwide, and also protects US communications and information systems from cyber attack.

The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans.

Its compound, known as the "Puzzle Palace" -- located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Washington -- is highly secure.

In March 2015, guards at the NSA gate opened fire on an SUV which did not heed orders to stop, killing the driver and wounding a passenger.

The two involved, it turned out, were men dressed as women who made a wrong turn into a restricted lane and may have refused to stop because, it later turned out, there were drugs in their vehicle.

The leading US spy agencies installed heavy security at their facilities after an assault rifle-wielding man opened fire on cars waiting to enter the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters compound in McLean, Virginia in January 1993. Two CIA employees were killed and three wounded.

The man, Aimal Kasi, escaped to his native Pakistan and it took US investigators four years to find him. He was eventually arrested and sent back to the United States, where he was convicted of murder and executed in 2002.

In 2016, a man drove his car into a fence gate at the CIA headquarters, claiming he was an agency recruit. He was arrested but was found to be mentally unstable, and only received 30 days in jail and a fine.

Comments

(1)

Just the deep state . I worked at nsa in 2007

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