Three in custody after crashing car at US spy agency - FBI

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, is seen from the air. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Three in custody after crashing car at US spy agency - FBI

FORT MEADE: Three people who tried to drive onto the campus of the U.S. 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 people, 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 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT). 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation's special agent in charge for Baltimore, told a press 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 people 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 U.S. government's main spy agencies, is headquartered at a U.S. Army facility about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Washington. The base also is home of the U.S. Cyber Command and Defense Information School.
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service focuses on using technological tools, including the monitoring of internet traffic, to spy on adversaries.
A White House spokeswoman said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting.
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 and motorists occasionally unintentionally take the exit that leads them to its gates, which are manned by armed guards.
In March 2015, two people tried to drive through the NSA's heavily guarded gate. Officers shot at the vehicle when they refused to stop, killing one of the occupants. The people in the vehicle may have taken a wrong turn after partying and taking drugs, according to news reports.


Pope Francis to create 14 new cardinals in June

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago
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Pope Francis to create 14 new cardinals in June

  • Among the new cardinals is Louis Raphael I Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans
  • Francis has repeatedly highlighted the plight of Christians persecuted and even slain for their faith in areas where Islamic fundamentalists have targeted them

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis announced on Sunday he has chosen 14 men to be the newest cardinals in the church, among them his chief aide for helping Rome’s homeless and poor, as well as prelates based in Iraq and Pakistan, where Christians are a vulnerable minority.
“I am happy to announce that on June 29, I will hold a consistory (ceremony) to make 14 new cardinals,” Francis said, in remarks to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square.
“The countries of provenance express the universality of the church, which continues to announce the merciful love of God to all men on Earth,” Francis added. Then he revealed his picks to be the latest “princes of the church,” including from Africa, elsewhere in Asia, and South America, as he continues to make the College of Cardinals less European than it had been in centuries past.
Among the new cardinals is Louis Raphael I Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans. Also to be made cardinal is Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan.
Francis has repeatedly highlighted the plight of Christians persecuted and even slain for their faith in areas where Islamic fundamentalists have targeted them.
Two top Vatican officials will also receive the honor of joining churchmen who vote for new popes in secret conclaves. They are Spanish Monsignor Luis Ladaria, who heads the Holy See’s powerful office in charge of ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy, and, like the pope, is a Jesuit; and Italian Monsignor Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the No. 2 in the influential secretariat of state office. Becciu is also special delegate to the recently troubled Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Another Italian to be made cardinal is a Rome vicar general, Monsignor Angelo De Donatis. The pope, while leader of the entire Roman Catholic church, also serves as Rome’s top bishop.
Francis’ choice of Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, a good-natured Pole who personally has handed out sleeping bags to homeless on frigid Roman nights and driven poor people to seaside day trips paid for by the Vatican, reflects the pontiff’s determination to make the Catholic Church known for its attention to those on life’s margins.
Others tapped to be cardinals include: Monsignor Antonio dos Santos Marto, bishop of Fatima, Portugal; Monsignor Pedro Barreto, archbishop of Huancayo, Peru; Monsignor Desire Tsarahazana, archbishop of Toamasina, Madagascar; Monsignor Thomas Aquinas Manyo, archbishop of Osaka, Japan; and Monsignor Giuseppe Petrocchi, archbishop of L’Aquila, the Italian mountain town still struggling to recover from an earthquake in 2009.
Francis cited three other churchmen he said he chose because “they have distinguished themselves for their service to the church.”
They are Emeritus Archbishop of Xalapa, Mexico, Sergio Obeso Rivera; Monsignor Toribio Ticona Porco, a prelate from Corocoro, Bolivia; and a Spanish priest, Aquilino Bocos Merino. The three are all over 80, so will not be eligible to vote for the next pope.