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Secret Service Under Scrutiny After Intruder Gets Into White House

  • VOA News

ພວກເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ຮັກສາຄວາມປອດໄພ ກຳລັງຍ່າງ ຊອກຫາຫລັກຖານ ຢູ່ໃນເດີ່ນດ້ານເໜືອ ຂອງທຳນຽບຂາວ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງວໍຊິງຕັນ, ວັນທີ 20 ກັນຍາ 2014.

ພວກເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ ຮັກສາຄວາມປອດໄພ ກຳລັງຍ່າງ ຊອກຫາຫລັກຖານ ຢູ່ໃນເດີ່ນດ້ານເໜືອ ຂອງທຳນຽບຂາວ ທີ່ນະຄອນຫລວງວໍຊິງຕັນ, ວັນທີ 20 ກັນຍາ 2014.

The U.S. Secret Service has increased security outside the White House after a man jumped the fence and made it inside the building before being apprehended.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered enhanced officer patrols and surveillance along the north fence of the White House shortly after the Friday incident. She also ordered a comprehensive review of what happened when an unarmed 42-year-old man scaled the fence and entered the presidential residence, where agents seized him.

President Barack Obama and his daughters had just left the White House Friday evening in a helicopter, when the unarmed intruder scaled the north fence, ran across the lawn and entered the presidential residence, where agents seized him.

Republican lawmaker Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House of Representatives' subcommittee on national security oversight, called the security breach "totally unacceptable."

A Secret Service official said the agency will review its response.

A day later, on Saturday, a man was arrested for trespassing at the White House. The Secret Service said the man approached the White House gates on foot and was turned away a short time before returning to the gate in a vehicle. He was arrested when he refused to leave.

The fence-jumping incident Friday sparked a rare evacuation of parts of the White House.

The Secret Service identified the suspect as 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez from Copperas Cove, Texas. Officials say Gonzalez did not have any weapons.

President Obama and his daughters were headed to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, where they were to join first lady Michelle Obama, who traveled separately.

People have jumped the White House fence before, but there have been no publicized reports of someone making it inside.

Just last week, on September 11 — the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S. — another man climbed the fence and was taken into custody.

Part of the difficulty in securing the White House grounds lies in the public access granted to pedestrians right in front of the building. Tourists are able to go right up to the gate on Pennsylvania Avenue to look at the building and take photos. The street used to be open to vehicles, too, but was confined to pedestrians after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

The Secret Service has faced a series of blows to its reputation in recent years — including revelations of sexual misconduct. In 2012, more than a dozen Secret Service agents and officers were implicated in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, where Obama traveled for a summit.

Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.

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