The eyes of the nation are turned to Maryland as we’re reminded of just how quickly things can change. Fort Meade, the home of the NSA, is under attack this morning in what can only be described as a pointed attack on the military installation, by what is as yet an unidentified suspect.
This attack happened in the form of ramming an SUV into the gates. The most recent information available informs us that the occupants of the vehicle were denied entry onto the grounds, and they apparently didn’t take the news well. It’s unclear why they were denied access, what they wanted to do once they got in, or who was responsible for the attack. The Baltimore Sun reports that gunfire did ensue, and more than one person was taken to the hospital as a result (all times are published in Eastern Standard):
“The driver of a black SUV attempted to access the NSA campus at Fort Meade, prompting police to fire on the vehicle before it struck a concrete barrier at the Anne Arundel County installation, federal officials said.
NSA officials said ‘several individuals’ were taken to hospitals, but that initial information indicates none of the injuries were a result of gunfire.
The FBI is investigating.
The incident took place around 7 a.m. at the Canine Road gate, where authorities surrounded a handcuffed man after a black SUV ran into a concrete barrier.
‘The situation is under control and there’s no ongoing security or safety threat,’ an NSA statement said.”
As you can imagine, this is more than a small incident. Not only is an Army base under attack, but it’s also the army base with some of the most critical national security officials in the nation. The NSA plays a crucial role in keeping Americans safe, and if a person did want to make a more significant attack on the U.S., it makes sense that they would want to take that out first.
Usually a car ramming a concrete barricade isn’t something that the White House addresses, but in this case, the location makes a lot of red flags fly up:
“President Donald Trump has been ‘briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade,’ and the White House offers thoughts and prayers with those who have been affected, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
The Associated Press is reporting that one person is being held in connection with the incident.
All other gates to the campus are open, Fort Meade officials said.
Maryland State Highway Administration reopened MD 32 before 9 a.m. after it had been shut down in both directions at Canine Road in response. Fort Meade officials urged motorists to take alternate routes and ‘expect long delays.’
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department assisted the Fort Meade Fire Department and cleared the scene around 8:45 a.m., spokesman Russ Davies tweeted.
Residual traffic delays were expected, according to officials. School buses that use Route 32 and surrounding roads might be delayed Wednesday morning, Anne Arundel County Public Schools said.
— Julie Wright (@thejuliewright) February 14, 2018
Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said Meade Senior High School is operating as usual.
The FBI tweeted it ‘is aware of the incident at Fort Meade’ and is sending personnel to the scene.”
Attacks like this are always troubling, but it’s clear that the government is taking it very seriously. FBI involvement, highways being shut down and investigations underway. It’s safe to say that some gate guards found out how to use their training today. It would be great to say that this was the first time an attack like this had happened, but it’s not.
“In March 2015, one person was killed in a firefight that erupted after a car with two people on board tried to ram a gate at Fort Meade.
In that incident, the driver ignored commands to stop, the NSA said, and barriers were deployed.
The vehicle accelerated, the NSA said, and agency police opened fire. The vehicle crashed into a police vehicle.
One of the vehicle’s occupants died at the scene, the NSA said. The other was taken to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to a firefighter who was at the scene.”
11 a.m. e.t. update:
In a confusing statement that was released mid-morning by the NSA, the agency clarified that, while weapons were discharged during this morning’s attempted gate-ramming, none of the injured parties were struck by the gunfire.
Unfortunately, we might not ever get the complete story, because of the potential national security risks, but this is still very much an evolving situation.
…The incident is now “under control” and an investigation is underway…
UPDATE: NSA releases statement on shooting. Says “several individuals” hospitalized after unauthorized car drove onto Ft. Meade. Says early reports do not indicate anyone was shot at this time – WJLA pic.twitter.com/LZKcQeXRka
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 14, 2018
This is an excellent reminder that we are still a country at war. Everything we do has to be done with national defense in mind, whether that’s budget allocations or how we allow immigrants to enter. We’re all still just one bad day away from the way we were in 2001. Thankfully, the brave men and women at Fort Meade made sure that today wasn’t that day.