Homeland Security analyst took weapons into HQ, ‘possibly for attack’

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Gun, knife, infrared camera, pepper spray and handcuffs seized from Jonathan Wienke after he entered Washington complex, say court files

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether a Department of Homeland Security employee with top-secret clearance was planning an attack at the agencys Washington headquarters when he allegedly entered the building with a gun, a knife, an infrared camera, pepper spray and handcuffs.

Court documents filed by the federal government state that investigators have probable cause to believe Jonathan Wienke, an analyst in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence, and more particularly may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the US attorneys office for the District of Columbia, declined to comment on the documents. He said Wienke was charged on 10 June with carrying a pistol without a license and was released on 13 June pending further court proceedings. The case remained under investigation, Miller said in an email.

Scott McConnell, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said Wienke had been placed on administrative leave.

The federal government searched Wienkes home in Martinsburg, West Virginia, a 75-mile commute from the office. In the affidavit for the search warrant, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Mann described the series of events that led the government to suspect Wienke was potentially plotting an attack.

At 7.30am on 9 June Wienke entered the building, which has a security level on par with the White House and the Pentagon, according to Manns affidavit. Security measures include random screening at the door; Wienke was selected and his backpack was placed in a screening machine.

Security officers found a folding knife with a three-inch blade, two handheld radios, pepper spray, an infrared camera and a set of handcuffs, among other items, the affidavit states. The officers seized the knife and spray.

At 9am Mann and another officer followed up with Wienke at his cubicle, directly across from where senior officials were meeting, the documents say.

He gave them permission to search him and denied he was carrying any additional weapons, the affidavit alleges. Mann wrote that he patted Wienke down and discovered a five-shot revolver loaded with .22-caliber hollow-point rounds in the front pocket of his pants. He wrote that he heard Wienke utter an audible expletive.

A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Wienke hung up when asked for a comment on Tuesday evening. An email sent to Wienke was not immediately returned.

In his affidavit for a search warrant Mann listed the potential crimes as attempt and conspiracy to assassinate, kidnap or assault a member of the executive branch of the government, false impersonation of a federal officer and possession of a firearm in a federal facility.

It was unclear in the documents what officers found in his home or whether prosecutors intended to pursue additional charges.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/22/homeland-security-analyst-took-weapons-into-hq-possibly-for-attack