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Secret Service Says Intruder Arrested on White House Grounds | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The White House is pictured shortly after sunrise in Washington, August 1, 2007. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An intruder carrying a backpack entered White House premise on Friday and was arrested at an entrance near the part of the building where the president resides, the United States Secret Service said on Saturday.

President Donald Trump, who was in the White House at the time, was not in any danger from the security breach, CNN reported, citing an unnamed source.

The intruder was apprehended near the south portico entrance, where presidents often address the public, CNN said. The entrance is near the president’s residence.

Two years ago, a series of security breaches led to a shakeup of the agency charged with protecting the president, his family and other officials.

The most serious recent incident occurred in September 2014, when an Army veteran carrying a knife climbed the fence and pushed his way inside the White House before he was stopped.

Another man wearing an American flag jumped the fence in November 2015. In April 2016, an intruder threw a backpack over the outer fence and then scaled it before getting arrested.

The 2014 intrusion prompted lawmakers to criticize the agency and led to the resignation of its director Julia Pierson.

Joseph Clancy, her replacement, said in February that he planned to leave the position in March, allowing Trump to name his own security chief.

The service’s credibility was also damaged in 2012 when it was revealed that members had hired prostitutes while in Colombia in advance of a trip by then-President Barack Obama. Security for reporters entering the White House appeared to be normal on Saturday morning.