Third Gate-Crasher Discovered at White House State Dinner

Jan 4, 2010 1:36pm

The United States Secret Service has discovered a third gate-crasher at the November 24, 2009, State Dinner that honored Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – a dinner perhaps best known for the allegedly gate-crashing Salahis.

“The Secret Service's investigation into the security events surrounding the Indian State Dinner on November 24, 2009, has revealed that a third individual, who was not on the White House guest list, entered the State Dinner,” a statement from the US Secret Service reads.

The Secret Service says that as of right now “there is nothing to indicate that this individual went through the receiving line” or had contact with President and First Lady Obama, unlike the Salahis, who famously shook hands with the president.

Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the US Secret Service, said he would not provide the name of the individual in question.

While Secret Service officials assumed full blame for the presence at that dinner of the now-infamous Tareq and Michaele Salahi, they are blaming the presence of this third gate-crasher on the U.S. State Department.

The statement says that the “subject traveled from a local hotel, where the official Indian delegation was staying, and arrived at the dinner with the group, which was under the responsibility of the Department of State. This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House.”

For some reason this individual — unlike the other members of the official Indian delegation – was not entered into the Worker And Visitor Entrance System (WAVES), the security list for those who enter the White House.

The Secret Service says that procedural changes have already been implemented to address whatever holes exist in the system for foreign delegations under the responsibility of Department of State to enter facilities secured by the Secret Service. 

Donovan told ABC News he was limiting information about this incident to that provided in the press release because the matter is a criminal investigation.

The Secret Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which has found itself a tad embattled due to security breaches leading to the presence of Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab on Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

– jpt

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