Major failures at Secret Service allowed White House breach

Major failures at Secret Service allowed White House breach

The US Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of the Secret Service, cited critical problems like inadequate training and staff shortages that contributed to the incident, the report said.

The serious failures enabled Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez, 42, to enter the main floor of the White House with a knife on September 19, an unprecedented security breach in recent decades.

Gonzalez jumped over the White House fence, ran across the front lawn and through the front doors before being tackled in the living quarters of the Obama family.

“This report indicates that the Secret Service’s response at the White House was significantly hampered on September 19th because of critical and major failures in communications, confusion about operational protocols and gaps in staffing and training," the review said.

"While some of these problems can be attributed to a lack of resources, others are systemic and indicative of Secret Service culture,” it added.

The latest incident is part of a string of security lapses and misjudgments by the Secret Service that led to the resignation of the head of the agency, Julia Pierson in October.

According to a report by the Washington post, it took the Secret Service five days to discover that a man had shot seven bullets at the White House in 2011.

Another security lapse occurred on September 16, when an armed security contractor with a criminal record was allowed to accompany Obama in an elevator during his trip to Atlanta.