SECURITY ALERT – Attack on CIA HQ in Virginia – Gunman Shot by FBI

Aerial Photograph of the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith via PICRYL

What appears to be a mentally ill, armed man attempted to crash the main gate at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on Monday with his car. CIA HQ is not far from my prior residence in McLean, and I still have friends and colleagues at the campus. The intruder was finally shot and wounded by FBI agents when he came out of his vehicle brandishing a handgun, after an hours-long standoff.

He was reportedly taken to an area hospital, but his condition is not known. According to CIA sources, the suspect, who at one point claimed to have explosives, never breached the heavily guarded compound perimeter.

The FBI was called in to help negotiate the crisis and work alongside CIA Security Protective Officers. Though not reported, the FBI agents involved could have been members of the elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) – the Bureau’s SWAT. But regular field agents may have been the ones involved.

One source told CBS News that he heard 13 shots fired.

The FBI tweeted about the incident noting:

FBI is reviewing an agent-involved shooting that occurred at approx. 6 pm on Monday, May 3, 2021. An individual involved in a security incident outside Central Intelligence Agency HQ in McLean, VA, emerged from his vehicle with a weapon & was engaged by law enforcement officers.

The subject was wounded & has been transported to a hospital for medical attention. The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously.

FBI sources say the man has repeatedly tried to gain unauthorized access to the CIA campus in the past. This may be his last attempt.

As NBC News noted:

Security around the CIA is taken especially seriously because in 1993, a Pakistani national killed two CIA employees in their cars and wounded three others as they were waiting at a stoplight near that main entrance. Mir Aimal Kasi, also known as Mir Aimal Kansi, fled and was at large for four years before being arrested, returned to the U.S., tried and convicted. He was executed in 2002.


Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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