FBI offers reward for tips on Pentagon sniper
The FBI posted a $20,000 reward Monday for tips on whoever has been shooting at the Pentagon and other military targets in the Washington, DC. area.
"We are following every lead that comes in and continue to call for the assistance of the public in helping us identify the person or persons responsible," John G. Perren, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office said in an announcement. "We are confident that someone out there has additional information that will be helpful to this investigation."
There have been five incidents, beginning with shots fired on the Marine Corps museum near Quantico on the night of Oct. 16-17, police believe. Days later six shots were also fired on the Pentagon. Next, shots were fired on recruiting offices of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard, respectively, in suburban Virginia.
No casualties have been reported, and authorities believe the person or persons responsible have deliberately fired at night to minimize the chance that anyone would be hurt. The same weapon was used in every attack, the FBI said.
In asking for the public's help, the FBI noted that the shooter(s) "may have had to provide an explanation or excuse to justify the absence from home or work" and "may have experienced a significant personal crisis within the past several months, such as the loss of job, divorce or financial hardship."
Former FBI agent Brad Garrett told SpyTalk on Nov. 2 that solving the case "largely boils down to someone coming forward and giving law enforcement a piece of information that leads to the shooter before this escalates, if in fact it does. It may not."
"They call you and say, 'I'm concerned about the guy who lives next door, my uncle,' or whomever it might be. You follow up and find out who the guy is," said Garrett, who worked on some of the area's biggest cases, including the Beltway Sniper shootings and Chandra Levy murder.
He predicted that ballistic evidence collected at the scene would probably not help investigators much. Getting "lucky with unique ballistics ... [is] a real long shot," said Garrett, who was also lead investigator into the murder of CIA employees waiting in traffic outside the agency's front gate in 1993.
"The shooter or the shooters clearly want to draw attention to the military installations," he said, which poses the question of whether it's "a bereaved person who lost someone in the current conflicts, or is an angry serviceperson who had difficulties in the military, got hurt in the military or is it someone who couldn't get into the military. It could be any of those."
"Clearly they don't want to hurt anybody, they just want to draw attention," he added. "You always worry about escalation, and there was some concern during the military marathon" that there would be an attack.
The FBI asked anyone with information to call its Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000 or e-mail WashingtonField@ic.fbi.gov.
All information will be kept strictly confidential, it said.
The order of the attacks was erroneously reported at first and has been corrected.
| November 15, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories: Homeland Security, Intelligence, Justice/FBI
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