3 injured after SUV tried to enter NSA without authorization

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is seen in Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S. February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Three people were injured Wednesday after a rented sports utility vehicle tried to enter a secured area of the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade.

The driver of the SUV, an NSA police officer, and a civilian onlooker were injured during the encounter. Details about how they were injured were not released by authorities. Gunshots were fired during the incident, but officials said that none of the injuries were a result of gunfire. The injuries suffered by the police officer and the bystander were not life-threatening.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who was leading the investigation, was quick to point out that the incident was an isolated one, and in no way related to terrorism. “The FBI continues to believe that yesterday’s encounter was an isolated incident,” said Dave Fitz, the spokesman of the FBI Baltimore field office. “Our investigation continues and we do not see a nexus to terrorism.”

The FBI investigation is still ongoing, but a theory being considered was that the vehicle made a wrong turn into NSA gate, and the driver panicked when he saw heavily armed police. In the past, a number of drivers have made the wrong turn and wound up at the NSA gate.

The incident occurred at around 7 a.m. when the vehicle tried to enter the spy agency’s campus at Fort George G. Meade, off the Baltimore Washington Parkway and Maryland Route 32, without authorization. Footage taken after the incident showed a black SUV with at least two bullet holes through its windshield. The vehicle was stopped near concrete barriers with its airbags deployed.

After being briefly taken into FBI custody, two of the three people riding the SUV have been released by authorities. The third person has been turned over to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office because he was wanted on allegations of not paying for child support.