Security Breach: Third White House Gate-Crasher Found

Third State Dinner crasher who breached White House security discovered.

January 4, 2010, 8:47 PM

Jan. 4, 2010— -- The United States Secret Service has discovered a third gate-crasher got into the November, 2009, White House 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 U.S. 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 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.

"A State protocol officer should have prevented him from going through the U.S.S.S. security check at the Willard, U.S.S.S. has no list at that checkpoint," a U.S. official told ABC News.

"Once he was screened, he was part of the delegation package and went in with them," the official said, meaning there was no additional screening once the van arrived at the White House because they are then considered a secure package.

The official tells ABC News that after news broke of the Salahis crashing the State Dinner, the Secret Service reexamined video of guests arriving, trying to match faces with names on a guest list. Indeed, they found one man in a tuxedo, but no corresponding name on a guest list.

The third crasher was then quickly identified and later questioned, according to the official.

The Secret Service 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."

The official tells ABC News that the local hotel was the Willard Hotel, and that the individual appeared to have no connection to the Indian delegation. A U.S. official said the individual went through a magnetic security screening at the hotel.

The official noted that usually visiting delegations, the Indians in this case, come over from the Blair house but this group did not.

"He was not supposed to be in van; was not supposed to be at the White House that night. Not sure what his connection was, but he somehow knew what part of what hotel to go at what time to join the delegation," the official said.

The official said the individual didn't stay the whole night, and seemed to have left before the dinner started.

Asked specifically if the suspect had any connection to the Indian CEOs who rode in the van, the official added, "I honestly don't know if he had a connection to the CEOs, I've seen nothing to believe he did."

For some reason officials say this individual's name -- 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 the alleged failed bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

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