Third Gatecrasher At State Dinner, Courtesy Indian Delegation
US President Barack Obama's State Dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh included a third gatecrasher who had managed to attach himself to the country's delegation and boarded its bus to sneak into White House in November, the Secret Service has said.
Though the Secret Service has not yet released the name of this "uninvited" member, the 'Washington Post' has identified him as Carlos Allen, a local party promoter.
The Indian Embassy in Washington has, however, denied that any such "uninvited individual" was part of the country's delegation. "No such person was a member of the Indian delegation. The Embassy of India did not arrange his access," the Spokesman said.
In a statement released on Monday, the Secret Service said investigations into the security surrounding the event revealed that a third individual besides the attention-hungry couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, entered the State Dinner.
"It appears at this point that the subject travelled 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 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 Secret Service has said.
However, at this point of time it appears that this individual didn't go through the receiving line or had contact with President Obama or the First Lady.
"Unlike the rest of the members of the official delegation this individual was not entered into WAVES system," the Secret Service said.
This incident comes as a fresh embarrassment for the Secret Service which is already redfaced over the Salahis' gatecrashing incident.
The Virginia couple had also sneaked into Obama's first State Dinner for Singh on November 24, 2009, and even shook hands and posed for photographs with the President and Vice-President Joe Biden.
Their security breach came to light only after the couple posted their photographs from the dinner on social networking site Facebook.
But the intrusions had resulted in changes about entry for foreign delegations to the White House, the Secret Service said.
"As the investigation is both a review of the security for the state dinner and an ongoing criminal investigation, the secret service is not commenting further at this time."
Meanwhile, Ronald Kessler, author of 'In the President's Secret Service' in his latest blog on Newsmax.com has claimed that the unnamed individual was invited by someone from the "Indian diplomatic delegation" and travelled with the Indian delegation from the hotel to White House.
"At the last minute someone from the Indian diplomatic delegation invited a man to attend the White House event on November 24 without knowledge or consent of White House.
"The man turned out not to pose a threat but because the Secret Service failed to perform a background check, the agency never would have known if he was, for example, wanted for murder or involved with terrorist groups," Kessler wrote. PTI