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Found 6 results

  1. Police tape blocks a visitor´s entrance to the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) after a shooting incident at the entrance in Fort Meade. -AFP WASHINGTON: The shooting incident on Wednesday at the headquarters of the US National Security Agency outside Washington does not appear to be a terror attack, an FBI official said. "There is no indication that this has a nexus to terrorism," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson. Three people were arrested after their vehicle crashed at the entrance to the ultra-secret US spy agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, Johnson said. One of the three was injured and sent to a hospital, and the other two are in custody. Two other people ? an NSA police official and a bystander ? were also injured and sent to hospital, he said. Shots were fired early Wednesday at the ultra-secret National Security Agency, the US electronic spying agency outside Washington, leaving one person injured, officials said. Aerial footage of the scene from NBC News showed a black SUV with numerous bullet holes in its windshield crashed into concrete barriers at the main entrance to the NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. The images showed what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs. "The situation is under control and there is no ongoing security or safety threat," the NSA said. "We can confirm there has been one person injured and we don't know how the injuries occurred," an NSA spokesman told AFP. The local ABC television affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested. The Baltimore office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the investigation, said the incident "has been contained." A law enforcement source told AFP that it was too soon to know whether the incident was an attack on the facility or otherwise. They are "still trying to ascertain the facts," the source said. "The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected." 'Puzzle Palace' The NSA is the premier US signals intelligence agency, eavesdropping on electronic communications and hacking computers of US adversaries and suspects worldwide, and also protects US communications and information systems from cyber attack. The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans. Its compound, known as the "Puzzle Palace" - located about 32 kilometers northeast of Washington - is highly secure. In March 2015, guards at the NSA gate opened fire on an SUV which did not heed orders to stop, killing the driver and wounding a passenger. The two involved, it turned out, were men dressed as women who made a wrong turn into a restricted lane and may have refused to stop because, it later turned out, there were drugs in their vehicle. The leading US spy agencies installed heavy security at their facilities after an assault rifle-wielding man opened fire on cars waiting to enter the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters compound in McLean, Virginia in January 1993. Two CIA employees were killed and three wounded. The man, Aimal Kasi, was eventually arrested and convicted of murder and executed in 2002. In 2016, a man drove his car into a fence gate at the CIA headquarters, claiming he was an agency recruit. He was arrested but was found to be mentally unstable, and only received 30 days in jail and a fine.
  2. The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is located outside Washington in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: A shooting erupted Wednesday outside the suburban Washington headquarters of the National Security Agency, a secretive intelligence organisation responsible for global US electronic eavesdropping, leaving at least one person injured, officials said. NBC News aired aerial images of what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs outside the NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site, and bullet holes were visible in the vehicle?s front windows. "We can confirm there has been one person injured and we don?t know how the injuries occurred," an NSA spokesman told AFP. The local ABC affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested. The NSA said the situation was under control, advising motorists that a highway leading to the complex was closed in both direction "due to a police investigation." "The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected." A law enforcement source said the FBI?s Baltimore office was handling the investigation but it was "too soon to tell" whether it was an attack. They are "still trying to ascertain the facts," the source said. Known as the "Puzzle Palace," the NSA is the nerve center for US electronic espionage as well as the main protector of US communications and information systems from cyber attack. The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans. Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property. He now lives in exile in Russia. The NSA was the scene of a similar incident in March 2015 when police fired on an SUV, killing the driver and wounding a passenger after they failed to obey orders to stop at its heavily guarded entrance. In that incident, the two men in the Ford SUV were dressed in women?s clothes "but not in an attempt to disguise themselves from authorities," an FBI spokeswoman said at the time.
  3. FILE PHOTO: A man is silhouetted near logo of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo March 11, 2015. REUTERS The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to renew the National Security Agency?s warrantless internet surveillance program, overcoming objections from privacy advocates and confusion prompted by morning tweets from President Donald Trump that initially questioned the spying tool. The legislation, which passed 256-164 and split party lines, is the culmination of a yearslong debate in Congress on the proper scope of US intelligence collection - one fueled by the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Senior Democrats in the US House of Representatives had urged cancellation of the vote after Trump appeared to cast doubt on the merits of the program, but Republicans forged ahead. Trump initially said on Twitter that the surveillance program, first created in secret after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and later legally authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, had been used against him but later said it was needed. Some conservative, libertarian-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats attempted to persuade colleagues to include more privacy protections. They failed on Thursday to pass an amendment to include a warrant requirement before the NSA or other intelligence agencies could scrutinize communications belonging to Americans whose data is incidentally collected. The bill as passed by the House would extend the NSA?s spying program for six years with minimal changes. Some privacy groups said it would actually expand the NSA?s surveillance powers. Most lawmakers expect it to become law, although it still would require Senate approval and Trump?s signature. Before the vote a tweet from Trump had contradicted the official White House position and renewed unsubstantiated allegations that the previous administration of Barack Obama improperly surveilled his campaign during the 2016 election. ?This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?? the president said in a tweet. ?WE NEED IT!? The White House did not immediately respond to a request to clarify Trump?s tweet but he posted a clarification less than two hours later. ?With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today?s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!? Trump tweeted. Unmasking refers to the largely separate issue of how Americans? names kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed. Asked by Reuters at a conference in New York about Trump?s tweets, Rob Joyce, the top White House cyber official, said there was no confusion within Oval Office about the value of the surveillance program and that there have been no cases of it being used improperly for political purposes. The White House, US intelligence agencies and Republican leaders in Congress have said they consider the tool indispensable and in need of little or no revision. Without congressional action, legal support for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which authorizes the program, will expire next week, although intelligence officials say it could continue through April. Section 702 allows the NSA to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States through US companies such as Facebook Inc (FB.O), Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Alphabet Inc?s (GOOGL.O) Google. The spying program also incidentally scoops up communications of Americans if they communicate with a foreign target living overseas, and can search those messages without a warrant.
  4. ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasir Janjua said on Monday the United States of America is following Indian policy on the longstanding Kashmir dispute. Speaking at a National Security Policy Seminar, Janjua lamented that despite Pakistan giving the most human and economic sacrifices in the war against terrorism, the world has still not respected the vital role it has played. He said that Pakistan has defeated the heinous ambitions of its enemy as the insurgents in Balochistan are putting down their weapons and choosing to say ?Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan? (Long live Pakistan). Lt Gen (retd) Janjua said that the India is threatening Pakistan with a conventional war. The US has given India role in Afghanistan?s political process, giving New Delhi priority over Islamabad, and has opposed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he pointed out. ?Taliban are getting stronger in Afghanistan, and Pakistan has faced heavy human and economic loss in its war against terrorism but the US is blaming Pakistan for its own failure in Afghanistan,? the adviser remarked. He said that terrorism in Pakistan emerged after the country decided to support US and the West. The national security adviser said that in opposition to China and Russia, the US has disrupted balance of power in South Asia. ?Security in South Asia is under pressure,? he said.
  5. WASHINGTON: Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry Friday called on US National Security Adviser Lt Gen H.R. McMaster and discussed affairs pertaining to restoration of peace in Afghanistan and tranquility at the border. Ambassador Chaudhry, during the meeting, stressed that the benefits of war on terror could only surface after peace in Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan holds Afghan peace as its top priority. He apprised the NSA McMaster that Pakistan has been progressing in the field of economy, which has led to increase in investment opportunities in the country. "There have been enough opportunities in the fields of energy and basic infrastructure in Pakistan." On the occasion, Gen McMaster said the US acknowledges Pakistan's sacrifices in the war against terrorism. He vowed that the US would continue to cooperate for stability and prosperity in the region.
  6. WASHINGTON: The US National Security Agency collected more than 151 million records of Americans' phone calls last year, even after Congress limited its ability to collect bulk phone records, according to an annual report issued on Tuesday by the top US intelligence officer. The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting phone records and contacts of people US and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to terrorism. It found that the NSA collected the 151 million records even though it had warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to spy on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016, in addition to a handful identified the previous year. The NSA has been gathering a vast quantity of telephone "metadata," records of callers' and recipients' phone numbers and the times and durations of the calls - but not their content - since the September 11, 2001, attacks. The report came as Congress faced a decision on whether to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which permits the NSA to collect foreign intelligence information on non-US persons outside the United States, and is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Privacy advocates have argued that Section 702 permits the NSA to spy on Internet and telephone communications of Americans without warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and that foreign intelligence could be used for domestic law enforcement purposes in a way that evades traditional legal requirements. The report said that on one occasion in 2016, the FBI obtained information about an American in response to a search of Section 702 data intended to produce evidence of a crime not related to foreign intelligence. The report did not address how frequently the FBI obtained information about Americans while investigating a foreign intelligence matter, however. On Friday, the NSA said it had stopped a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect the digital communications of Americans who mentioned a foreign intelligence target in their messages without a warrant. TRUMP'S ALLEGATIONS The new report also came amid allegations, recently repeated by US President Donald Trump, that former President Barack Obama ordered warrantless surveillance of his communications and that former national security adviser Susan Rice asked the NSA to unmask the names of US persons caught in the surveillance. Both Republican and Democratic members of the congressional intelligence committees have said that so far they have found no evidence to support either allegation. Officials on Tuesday argued that the 151 million records collected last year were tiny compared with the number collected under procedures that were stopped after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the surveillance program in 2013. Because the 151 million would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers, the number of people whose records were collected also would be much smaller, the officials said. They said they had no breakdown of how many individuals' phone records were among those collected. In all, according to the report, US officials unmasked the names of fewer Americans in NSA eavesdropping reports in 2016 than they did the previous year, the top US intelligence officer reported on Tuesday. The report said the names of 1,934 "US persons" were "unmasked" last year in response to specific requests, compared with 2,232 in 2015, but it did not identify who requested the names or on what grounds. Officials said in the report that US intelligence agencies had gone out of their way to make public more information about US electronic eavesdropping. "This year's report continues our trajectory toward greater transparency, providing additional statistics beyond what is required by law," said Office of the Director of National Intelligence spokesman Timothy Barrett.