Morning Security Brief: Navy Yard Shooter Had Pattern of Misconduct, ACLU Releases Report on FBI Abuse of Power, And More
Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis acted alone and has a record of abusing firearms, the ACLU has released a report on the FBI's abuse of power after 9-11, and Colorado's oil and gas infrastructure has been damaged by the region's floods.
►Former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis is believed to be the lone shooter involved in yesterday’s mass killing at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., according to investigators. Alexis, who started working at the base last week as a subcontractor, was able to enter the secured area legally using his access card, officials stated. Shortly after he entered the installation yesterday morning at 8:20, he opened fire in Building 197, killing 12 civilians and wounding eight others. An “active shooter team” of uniformed D.C. police officers entered the building less than seven minutes later, and Alexis was killed after multiple firefights, according to the Washington Post . His identity was confirmed through partial fingerprint analysis . Officials initially reported that two other shooters may have been involved, and nearby schools and offices were placed under lockdown through Monday afternoon. After interviewing each of the nearly 2,000 Navy Yard employees remaining in the base throughout the evening, FBI officials announced that Alexis was likely the only shooter. The 34-year-old Brooklyn native with “a pattern of misconduct” previously lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and worked in a Navy fleet logistics support squadron based there before he was discharged from the military after a 2010 arrest for firing a gun in his apartment. No one was injured and no charges were filed in that incident, according to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office. According to the police report, Alexis said that "he was trying to clean his gun while cooking and that his hands were slippery." And in a 2004 incident, Alexis was arrested after shooting at a man’s car tires. At the time, Alexis’ father said his son struggled with post-traumatic stress and anger issues after helping with 9-11 rescue efforts. Alexis had also made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals to receive treatment for paranoia, sleep disorders, and auditory hallucinations.
►This morning, the ACLU released a 63-page report on the FBI’s unchecked abuse of authority, refocusing the spotlight on the bureau amid the NSA scandal. The report calls on Congress to reign in the FBI’s power to listen in on Americans’ phone calls under the Patriot Act, restrict its ability to access citizens’ online information without a warrant, and prevent it from violating the First Amendment by focusing its surveillance efforts on religious and cultural groups. “The [ACLU has] long warned that turning the FBI into a domestic intelligence agency by providing it with enhanced surveillance and investigative authorities that could be secretly used against Americans posed grave risks to our constitutional rights,” the report reads. “This is what a domestic intelligence enterprise looks like in our modern technological age.”
►Northern Colorado’s oil and gas infrastructure
has been submerged under floodwaters after the region experienced record-breaking rainfall that has displaced thousands and killed at least eight people. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said in a written statement Monday that “many oil and gas locations have been affected by the flood,” but it is too early to tell the extent of the damage.“As this event is still unfolding, especially as flood waters continue to move northeast, access is limited and emergency responders are focused on lives and property,” wrote Todd Hartman, the commission’s spokesman, in an e-mail. “It’s too soon to provide specific information about impacts or particular locations.” Operators have been working overtime to shut down and secure the equipment, chaining down tanks and boarding up wells. Plans are being made to inspect all compromised wells once the floodwaters recede, and environmental activists are discussing potential regulations that would restrict oil and gas development in floodplains.