Homeland Security Employee Accused of Plotting Attack

He tried to bring knife, gun, handcuffs into HQ
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2016 12:05 AM CDT
Homeland Security Employee Accused of Plotting Attack
The Homeland Security Department headquarters in northwest Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether a Department of Homeland Security employee with top-secret clearance was planning an attack at the agency's Washington headquarters when he entered the building with a gun, a knife, an infrared camera, pepper spray, and handcuffs. Jonathan Wienke, an analyst in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, allegedly carried the weapons into the building on the morning of June 9, the AP reports. Court documents filed by the federal government state that investigators have probable cause to believe Wienke "was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence" and "may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building."

A DHS spokesman says Wienke has been placed on administrative leave. The federal government searched his home in Martinsburg, W. Va. In the affidavit for the search warrant, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Mann listed the potential crimes as an 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's unclear in the documents what officers found in his home, or whether prosecutors intend to pursue additional charges. Wienke was charged on June 10 with carrying a pistol without a license and was released on June 13 pending further court proceedings, authorities say. (More Department of Homeland Security stories.)

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