Fort Meade is one of the less well-known Army bases in the United States, and there’s a good reason for that. Among other functions that the fort has served, it is also the home for one of the NSA’s campuses from which they monitor telecommunications.
This morning, however, the quiet of Fort Meade, Maryland was torn this by the sound of gunfire. The cause is still not known, but the mayhem it caused is already dominating headlines in the region and gaining ground nationally.
Three individuals at the NSA compound near MD 32, a local road, were shot, including one law enforcement officer, in a shooting before 8 A.M. (EST) this morning.
Not much is known at this time, though local police appear to have arrested at least one individual involved (or suspected of being involved) in the shooting.
Video taken from above the scene of the crime showed an SUV that appeared to have pulled off the road and was riddled with bullet holes.
The three injured individuals, including a police officer, did not seem to be badly injured, and local news stations reported that their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
The FBI office in Baltimore, Maryland stated that they would be sending personnel to respond to the shooting, as well as likely to take over the investigation concerning a shooting at a federal base. First responders also came from nearby Anne Arundel County to help with injuries and security.
— FBI Baltimore (@FBIBaltimore) February 14, 2018
Officials said that as of now, they believe the situation to be contained and that there are not believed to be any on-going security concerns at the base.
Later reports indicated that instead of three people being injured, only one individual was injured in the shooting.
These reports also claimed that the shooter was taken to a local hospital, though the extent of their injuries is currently unknown.
The shooting occurred at one of the entrance gates to the NSA campus at Fort Meade.
Fort Meade is a U.S. Army base named after George G. Meade, a commander in the Civil War.
It is used by the Army’s Defense Information School and Defense Media Activity, as well as the Army Field Band.
Further, it is the headquarters of the United States Cyber Command, National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Courier Service, and Defense Information Systems Agency.
Fort Meade also houses a storage area used by the Library of Congress.
In other words, Fort Meade is an important site for the military and the federal government’s cybersecurity apparatuses.
This isn’t the first time that there has been a security incident at Fort Meade in recent history. It isn’t even the first such incident in the last five years.
In February 2015, Hong Young was arrested for alleged shootings at various places in Maryland, including a shooting at the NSA building.
Hong Young’s shootings were not determined to be related to terrorist interests. His estranged wife suggested he had a history of mental issues, and Hong himself told police that he heard voices telling him to shoot people.
On March 30, 2015, police shot and killed someone who attempted to ram a restricted entrance to the NSA campus. The FBI determined that the ramming was not related to terrorism.
At this point, it is not yet known why the individual allegedly fired on the NSA campus.
That does not necessarily mean that this is a terrorist attack against the NSA, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t.
However, the pattern doesn’t seem to fit with recent terrorist attacks in the United States, which have mostly consisted of attacks revolving around the use of vehicles as battering rams.
Even if it was a terrorist attack, it would not necessarily mean that the alleged gunman was working to further Islamic terrorism.
Plenty of groups in the United States have cause to hate the NSA, an organization which spends its time and its budget on spying on American citizens without any evidence of wrongdoing.
At this time, not much is known about what is going on with the shooting. However, the police do appear to have caught the shooter without killing them.
That means that, hopefully, the police and FBI will be able to get answers as to the motives of the alleged shooter.
Until then, we can all be thankful that the shooting did not result in serious injury or damage to the facility.