Two heavily-armed individuals, a man and a woman, stopped at the Bayshore Gate of MacDill Air Force Base outside Tampa, Florida early Tuesday, June 15, with fake IDs, were described later as Caucasians in their mid-20s. The man is an active duty military serviceman on AWOL; the woman has no military connection. Their names have not been released.
When searched by a robot, their sports utility vehicle was found to contain three handguns, three "rifle-style" weapons, ammo and military-style uniforms – but no explosives. After they were taken into custody, Air Force spokeswoman Elizabeth Gosselin said the pair was being questioned in what was described as an "on-base incident" – without further details as to the motives of the couple for entering this important base heavily armed, although a later statement said it was not terror-related.
The US Central Command headed by Gen. David Petraeus runs the Afghanistan and Iraq war from this base, as well as well as Special Operations Command for the Middle East.
debkafile's counter-terror sources add: Had the couple gained entry to MacDill base, donned the uniforms and used the rifles they brought with them, they could potentially have carried out the biggest attack ever on a US military facility inside America.
The incident recalls the deadly attack in Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009, in which a US army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik "AbdulWali" Hassan murdered 13 US servicemen in the name of jihad.
So stringent are security precautions at MacDill Air Force Base that the entire incident was over and under control in no more than 90 seconds. On May 19, a man involved in a violent altercation was shot dead when he resisted arrest and tried to escape on a motor bike after being challenged to surrender.