The FBI is investigating Monday morning’s shooting that left one dead and another man seriously wounded at the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, after two men dressed as women tried to storm the gate. The NSA headquarters is located 20 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.
National Security Agency police found cocaine and a weapon in or near the suspects’ vehicle. Law enforcement officials have not determined a motive in the serious breach of security, but say that so far the incident does not appear to be terrorism related.
In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that agents are conducting an investigation with NSA police and interviewing witnesses on the scene. The incident took place near one of the gates to the complex, away from the main buildings. The ramp to the NSA headquarters has since been sealed off.
“We are working with the US Attorney’s Office in Maryland to determine if federal charges are warranted,” the FBI said in a statement.
A local CBS affiliate in Baltimore, WJZ reports a heavy police presence in the area and that southbound traffic on I-295 in Anne Arundel County remains backed up approaching the NSA headquarters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) involvement in the investigation of the serious security breach indicates that terrorism has not been ruled out. Since the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2002, the FBI has been designated as the lead agency in all suspected cases of domestic terrorism, until an incident is determined to be not terror-related. In recent months, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI have issued several bulletins warning United States law enforcement agencies that ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists or “lone wolf” sympathizers may be plotting attacks targeting U.S. police, airplanes, government buildings and U.S. Armed Forces members and even reporters in the United States. The bulletins have become more frequent and more serious in tone, however, none of the previous bulletins contained a specific or credible threat.
International and national security experts have repeatedly warned that sleeper cells may already be in the country and plotting attacks. Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has increasingly expressed concerns about American citizens recruited by al Qaeda and ISIS terrorist organizations and splinter cells of the groups, who are then radicalized and may return home to the United States and launch attacks.