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Man arrested after White House 'bomb scare'

President Donald Trump was away in Florida at the time of the incident last night.

US Secret Service officers stand in the cordoned off area on Pennsylvania Avenue after a security incident near the fence of the White House in Washington yesterday.
US Secret Service officers stand in the cordoned off area on Pennsylvania Avenue after a security incident near the fence of the White House in Washington yesterday.
Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

THE US SECRET Service bolstered security at the White House late last night after a man was arrested after making threats at one its checkpoints, an official said.

CNN reported that the man made a threat claiming he had a bomb in his car, and that he was immediately arrested and the car in which he was travelling seized.

President Donald Trump was away in Florida at the time.

“On 18 March, 2017 at approximately 11.05 pm last night local time (3.05 am this morning Irish time), an individual drove a vehicle up to a Secret Service checkpoint located at 15th Street and E Street NW,” a Secret Service spokesperson said in the latest of a series of White House security concerns.

“Upon contact with the individual, US Secret Service Uniform Division Officers detained the individual and declared his vehicle suspicious. In accordance with proper protocols, Secret Service personnel increased their posture of readiness,” they added.

Just hours earlier, a person was arrested after jumping over a bike rack in an apparent bid to reach the fence outside the White House, the Secret Service said.

The individual was detained immediately and criminal charges are pending, the agency said in a statement, without identifying the suspect.

A Secret Service official speaking on condition of anonymity said the person was not found to be carrying any weapons.

The arrest came about a week after a more serious incident that called into question security outside the White House.

Just before midnight on 10 March, a man scaled three barriers outside the White House — a perimeter fence, a vehicle gate and then another fence — and walked around the grounds of the executive mansion for 16 minutes before being arrested.

That time Trump was inside the building.

The White House has seen a string of high-profile trespassing incidents in recent years.

In one notable incident in 2014, while Barack Obama was president, an army veteran described as mentally disturbed made it into the White House grounds, sprinted across the lawn and entered the building with a knife in his pocket before being tackled and arrested.

© – AFP, 2017

Read: Donald Trump tried to joke about wiretapping with Angela Merkel. She didn’t laugh

Read: Trump didn’t mean wiretapping when he tweeted about ‘wire tapping’ – Spicer

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