3 injured in NSA shooting

A file picture of the National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Reuters)

Fort Meade, Maryland: Three persons who tried to drive onto the campus of the US National Security Agency near Washington, drawing gunfire from guards, were taken into custody on Wednesday in an incident the FBI said had no link to terrorism.

At least three persons, including the driver, were injured.

The motorists, who were not identified, drove a black sport utility vehicle to a gate of the secretive government body in Fort Meade, Maryland, shortly before 1200GMT. Armed guards fired on the vehicle after it violated NSA security rules, officials said.

"There is no indication to think that this is anything more than an isolated incident," said Gordon Johnson, the FBI's special agent in charge for Baltimore, told a news conference. "We have no reason to believe that there is any nexus to terrorism."

The vehicle had what appeared to be bullet holes in its windshield and extensive front-end damage after crashing into a concrete traffic barrier, according to video of the scene. "It looks like the gunfire was directed onto the vehicle," Johnson said, declining to say if weapons were found in the car. No one appeared to have been shot, he said.

Two of the persons arrested were in the NSA's custody while the third, the driver of the vehicle, had been taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries, Johnson said. An NSA police officer and a civilian bystander also suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, he said.

The NSA, one of the US government's main spy agencies, is headquartered at an Army facility about 48km northeast of Washington. The base also is home of the US Cyber Command and Defence Information School.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service focuses on using technological tools, including the monitoring of Internet traffic, to spy on adversaries.

Johnson said it was not clear why the three men had driven onto the campus. Fort Meade is located just off a major Washington-area highway. Reuters


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