New details have surfaced about the fence jumper who breached the White House grounds last Friday evening.
The intruder was on the White House grounds for 15 minutes before being caught, a Secret Service source familiar with the incident told CNN Friday.
The 26-year-old California man, Jonathan Tran, who carried a backpack and two cans of mace, jumped multiple fences at the White House and set off several alarms before he was caught on the steps of the main door. The Secret Service source told CNN that “the response to the alarm was lacking, and found (the suspect) vulnerabilities in the system.”
Tran has since been charged with entering a restricted building and carrying a dangerous weapon, reports Fox News.
— CC (@ChristiChat) March 17, 2017
Despite President Trump’s praise for the Secret Service doing a “fantastic job” protecting him that evening, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has blasted the Secret Services for the latest security breach and said, “this keeps happening,” and added, “Our information is incomplete at best.”
Chaffetz wrote a letter Friday to the acting director of the Secret Service, William Callahan, saying his committee is now investigating the incident that took place on just before midnight on the night of March 10 while the president was at the White House.
He wrote that his committee recently learned of additional allegations that were not in the original affidavit, including triggered alarm sensors that went ignored by Secret Service and the fact that the suspect “may have moved around on the White House grounds undetected for a considerable amount of time,” and Tran also “may have attempted entry into the building.” “If true, these allegations raise questions about whether the agency’s security protocols are adequate,” Chaffetz wrote.
Chaffetz is asking William Callahan to produce documents and White House video surveillance of the incident that night, as well as logs from the Joint Operations Center and information about “alarms” on the property. He has also called for the committee to be briefed on Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
Video surveillance footage shows that Tran first jumped a fence in the Northwest corner of the Treasury Building, then activated a sensor alarm in the Treasury Moat, the source said.
CNN reports that Secret Service responded to the tripped alarm, but Tran had already snuck past one Secret Service post and approached the front of the White House when an officer came to investigate. The source also believes that the intruder then crossed over the East Executive Drive and jumped the White House gate near an East Wing guard post, which the source indicates is not routinely staffed.
The source said Tran activated an alarm sensor, but was hiding behind a pillar of the East Wing entrance. Tran then jumped a low wall before traversing along East Wing. Several sensors went off, but it is unclear if they were properly investigated. A variety of detection systems ring the White House complex in overlapping zones. The systems primarily rely on infrared and microwave technology, but can be subject to malfunction or false activation.
The Secret Service source also revealed disturbing information that Tran was seen lurking around Pennsylvania Avenue six hours prior to being arrested on White House grounds, says CNN.
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