Wed Sep 4, 2002 7:43 PM ET
By DERRILL HOLLY, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A man who police said may have made threats against President Bush was arrested Wednesday about two miles from the White House after authorities discovered 16 guns in a car he was driving.
The man was stopped around 12:30 p.m. EDT in the Adams Morgan section of Washington. Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey said the suspect may have threatened Bush, but he offered no specifics.
The Secret Service received information Tuesday suggesting a man was driving from Pennsylvania toward the White House with explosives. The Secret Service issued an alert for police agencies to be on the lookout for him.
Washington police stopped a Chevrolet Cavalier registered in Pennsylvania and driven by Jeffrey Cloutier, 33, of Newport, N.H. Authorities found 10 rifles and six handguns in the car, but Ramsey said no explosives were discovered.
Newport Police Chief David Hoyt said his department was alerted Tuesday night that Cloutier was headed to Washington, and officers notified the Secret Service based on that information. Hoyt would not discuss what information the informant provided or who it was, but noted it was not a relative.
The Secret Service declined to comment on whether Cloutier had made any threats toward the president, but a New Hampshire law enforcement source said Cloutier had talked of harming Bush. "He said President Bush was doing a poor job, and he was going to take care of him and take over," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Cloutier's grandmother told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that her grandson had been having problems recently and had sought treatment for epilepsy. "He needs help and he needs it bad," Marjorie Cloutier said. "I think he was trying to get help and he wasn't getting it." She said she was not aware, however, of any problems her son might have had with Washington.
Cloutier rented a vehicle from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car office in Claremont, N.H., several days ago, according to sales records from the rental company. He got another car when he arrived in the Philadelphia area, according to Aaron Phinisee, manager of an Enterprise office in Center City Philadelphia.
Cloutier then picked up a white 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Route 291 near Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday night, the company said.
Cloutier was held for investigation of possessing unregistered firearms and ammunition. Cloutier's wife was also taken into custody, but a Secret Service source said she was unlikely to face any charges.
Wed Jun 19, 2002 10:22 PM ET
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House was briefly evacuated and military jets scrambled Wednesday night after a small plane flew through restricted airspace near the executive mansion.
The Cessna aircraft landed in Richmond, Va., about 100 miles from Washington, and law enforcement officials said it appeared to be simply a case of a pilot who got lost. The plane got as close as four miles from the executive mansion, said Secret Service agent Brian Marr. Authorities said the plane made belated contact with the tower at Reagan National Airport.
President Bush had returned just 20 minutes earlier from a Republican fund-raiser when some staff and reporters were ordered to leave the building shortly after 8 p.m. EDT. Bush remained in the executive mansion throughout the incident but was protected by unspecified security procedures, officials said.
A man in a dark suit hurried through the White House press area saying, "Get out, get out, everybody out. Secret Service says everyone has to leave the building." Not all White House staff left.
The incident occurred only hours after staff at the Federal Reserve, including Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, were evacuated from the building on nearby Constitution Avenue after a suspicious package was found in a garbage bin. Police cordoned off several blocks, snarling traffic during the afternoon rush hour. The package turned out to be harmless.
Authorities were interviewing the Cessna pilot, who had flown from a small airport in Massachusetts, and had not made required contact as he approached Washington, officials said.
The plane approached from the northeast above the capital at 10,500 feet, well below the minimum 18,000 feet required for the restricted space, federal aviation officials said.
Two F-16 military jets were scrambled immediately and followed the plane until it reached Richmond. The White House evacuation lasted about 15 minutes, ending as soon as the plane changed direction, officials said. "Two F-16s were scrambled," said Petty Officer Beverly Allen of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. "The guy flew out of Gardner, Mass., airspace. .... We escorted the guy to Richmond Airport where authorities apprehended him."
"This just looks like a pilot that had no clue he was entering restrictive airspace," said Marr, the Secret Service agent.Gardner, the pilot's point of origin, is a city of about 21,000 in central Massachusetts about 50 miles west of Boston. The plane was headed for Raleigh, N.C.
Wednesday night's evacuation of the White House was the first since Sept. 11, when the building was thought to be a target of one of the hijacked jetliners used in the attack on New York and Washington.On Sept. 12, 1994 a man flying a stolen Cessna airplane fatally crashed on the South Lawn of the White House.
By Christy McKerney & Tanya Weinberg
June 19 2002
One relative describes him as immature and says he was set up. But federal prosecutors say he threatened to blow up the White House and a Florida power plant.
Safraz Jehaludi was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents on Monday at Kemper Risk National Services in Plantation, where he worked as a data entry technician.
Federal prosecutors say the Miramar man, 22, sent an anonymous tip from his work computer to the FBI Internet desk on May 31, saying he had overheard Safraz Jehaludi state he was planning to blow up a Florida Power & Light Co. power plant and make a name for himself in an attempt to kill the president and take over the White House.
I believe he was set up and what they presented today in court, it was just laughable, Jehaludis cousin, Moien Mohamed, said Tuesday. An anonymous tip about himself? How crazy that is.
Its so off the wall, Mohamed said.
Jehalud appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ted Bandstra in Miami and is scheduled for a bond hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday.
He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Jehaludi, a Muslim who prays with his cousin at the Islamic Movement of Florida in Davie, grew up in Connecticut and is of Guyanese descent, according to his cousin.
Jehaludi denied making any threats in a June 4 interview with Secret Service agents.
But on June 11, prosecutors say, he sent another tip to the FBI Web site from a computer at the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale.
Secret Service agents picked up Jehaludi at his workplace Monday and questioned him in their Miami field office, where Jehaludi waived the right to an attorney and eventually confessed, prosecutors say.
But Jehaludis cousin Mohamed, owner of Mohamed Halaal Supermarket in Hollywood, describes him as a shy and immature young man who, without a lawyer, could be easily scared and intimidated into making a confession.
March 21, 2002 Posted: 5:13 AM EST (1013 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Only days ahead of a visit to Peru by U.S. President Bush, a car bomb exploded late Wednesday in a shopping center parking lot near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, killing at least nine people -- including two embassy security guards -- and injuring at least 25 others, according to government and law enforcement officials.
Peruvian Vice President Raul Diez Canseco said the government condemns and rejects criminals acts of terrorism and will make every effort to find those responsible for the bombing.
Conseco is acting president while President Alejandro Toledo is out of the country. Conseco said the military has been put on high alert.
The explosion left large holes in the pavement, heavily damaging a bank and breaking windows in neighboring buildings in a shopping center across the street from the embassy complex, but did no damage to the embassy itself.
In addition to embassy security guards being killed, three police officers died in the explosion, including explosives experts. A boy skating at the shopping area was also killed in the blast.
The car bomb exploded about 100 meters (330 feet) from an entrance to the U.S. Embassy.
Bush is scheduled to begin a four-day tour of Latin America on Thursday.
February 19, 2002
THE PRESENT E-MAIL IS TO SAY HELLO AND TELL YOU OF YOUR EXCELLENT WEB PAGE THAT I HAVE BEEN CONSULTING SINCE TWO YEARS AGO.
TALKING ABOUT YOUR PREDICTION OF ATTACK OR KILLING OF MR. BUSH ON THE HOLY WEEK OF THE YEAR 2002. I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT I HEARD ON THE MEXICAN NEWS THAT MR. BUSH WILL BE AT MONTERREY, MEXICO WITH PRESIDENT FOX IN THE UNITED NATIONS' CONGRESS FOR THE FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT. THE MEETING WILL BE ON MARCH-22-02. ACCORDING TO THIS DATE IS THE WEEK OF EASTER SUNDAY. I THINK THAT THIS IS THE DATE THAT YOU PREDICTED FOR THE ATTACK. AT THIS MEETING WILL BE MR. KOFI ANAN AND SEVERAL OTHER HEADS OF STATE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND THE BEST WISHES FOR YOU ON THE NOSTRADAMUS TOPIC.
January 13, 2002 Posted: 8:57 PM EST (0157 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush fainted briefly in the White House residence Sunday after choking on a pretzel while watching a National Football League playoff game on television, White House physician Dr. Richard Tubb said.
The doctor, an Air Force colonel, said Bush quickly recovered and is doing well. "I do not find any reason that this would happen again," said Tubb. "He fainted due to a temporary decrease in heart rate brought on by swallowing a pretzel."
Tubbs said Bush suffered an abrasion on his left cheek the size of a half dollar and a bruise on his lower lip, apparently from falling onto the floor from a couch.
Bush was alone in the room watching TV while his wife, first lady Laura Bush, was in a nearby room on the telephone.
Tubbs said Bush believes he was out only for a few seconds because when he awoke, his two dogs were sitting in the same position they were when he lost consciousness. "He said it (the pretzel) didn't seem to go down right," Tubbs said.
The fainting spell occurred at approximately 5:35 p.m. EST and Bush contacted a nurse on duty at the White House five minutes later. Tubbs was paged eight minutes later and rushed to the White House to examine the president. Tubbs said Bush, under his own power, took an elevator from the second floor of the residence to the first floor doctor's office where he underwent a through examination that included use of a heart monitor. His blood pressure and pulse were normal, Tubbs said.
Bush has a lower-than-normal pulse rate, which doctors attribute to his rigorous workout regime. But Tubbs said that low heart rate made him more prone to fainting when the pretzel stimulated a nerve when it got caught in his throat. He said Bush had complained Saturday and Sunday of "being a little off his game," feeling that he was coming down with a head cold.
White House spokesman Ari Fleisher said Bush intended to keep his regular schedule Monday, which includes an early morning trip to the Midwest. Bush was watching the Baltimore-Miami game when the incident occurred.
September 12, 2001
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Wednesday called the terror attacks in New York and Washington "acts of war," and the White House said the president himself might have been a target.
"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war," Bush said just 26 hours after the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which are likely to have killed thousands. The remarks seemed designed to lay the groundwork for an eventual response to the attacks, although officials declined to discuss any possible military retaliation.
The attacks might have been even worse, White House officials said later, citing "real and credible information" that the president's jet, Air Force One, and the White House were targets. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the information was that the plane that crashed into the Pentagon was originally intended to hit the White House -- although Bush was not present at the time of the Pentagon attack.
Fleischer said Bush, in Air Force One, had to crisscross the country on his way back from Florida on Tuesday because the information indicated the president's plane was also a target. When asked whether this new information meant that there had been an assassination attempt on the president, Fleischer said: "I'm not going to speculate about that ... I think you can draw your own conclusions."
Even before the White House released information that the presidential residence and Air Force One had been targets, Bush vowed to use all resources to "conquer" the enemy. "This battle will take time and resolve, but make no mistake about it, we will win," he said. "America is united. The freedom-loving nations of the world stand by our side," he said. "This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil, but good will prevail." Bush, flanked by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney, made the comments in the White House Cabinet Room after meeting with his national security team.
Late in the afternoon, Bush got a first-hand look at the attacks' destruction, visiting rescue operations at the Pentagon. "I am overwhelmed by the devastation," Bush said as he stood before the blackened and gutted building. Tangled debris hung from its slanted floors and the smell of smoke and dust was heavy in the air a day after the attack, which killed an unknown number.
June 20, 2001
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Osama bin Laden has threatened to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush at a G-8 meeting in Italy, the head of Russia's Federal Bodyguard Service has said, according to reports.
The Associated Press said Yevgeny Murov was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying: "Bin Laden is threatening the American president, but we know what international terrorism is today and therefore all the bodyguard units concerned are preparing for this. "We view the threats as totally serious, but hope that with joint efforts we can solve all the problems."
The Group of Eight summit is meeting between July 20 - 22 in Genoa, Italy. Leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States are expected to attend the summit.
Murov -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief bodyguard -- did not elaborate on the threats. He said agents from Russia's Federal Bodyguard Service have travelled to Genoa to coordinate with their counterparts from the other nations taking part in the summit to investigate the threats. Reports in the U.S., German and Italian media have said bin Laden may be plotting against Bush and other world leaders coming to Genoa, the Associated Press reported.
Bin Laden has been indicted by the United States for allegedly masterminding the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam which killed more than 200 people.
He has taken refuge in Afghanistan, where the ruling Taliban movement has refused to hand him over to Western powers.
Some Genoa organisers fear a possible assassination attempt and have said they might move the summit venue to a cruise liner offshore or a military base, Reuters reported. Italy's new interior minister promised tight security for the summit, with soldiers and a large police force.
UPDATE (6/20/01): We are now approaching an 18-month window of danger that will not only imperil the life of President George W. Bush but the entire world. The window opens this month or next. I should add that Osama Bin Laden's threat, if carried out, will result in many dead -- especially if the summit in Italy is held at a US military base or an off-shore cruise liner as the report indicates.
February 7, 2001 -- WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A uniformed Secret Service officer shot a 47-year-old Indiana man Wednesday morning after he refused to surrender a gun he was waving outside the southwest perimeter of the White House grounds, law enforcement officials said. The Secret Service said it was notified of the suspect's activities by citizens outside the White House grounds who saw the man waving a gun.
The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Robert W. Pickett, a certified public accountant from Evansville, Indiana, was wounded in the right knee by a single gunshot. He was placed under arrest and transported to George Washington University Hospital where he will undergo surgery late Wednesday afternoon. Several witnesses said the man fired two or three shots, jumped into nearby bushes and remained there for about 15 minutes as agents and officers of the U.S. Park Police and District of Columbia police tried to persuade him to put down his gun, a revolver with a five-round capacity. Pickett was shot by the officer -- a heavily armed member of the Secret Service's Emergency Response Team -- at 11:36 a.m.
The man's presence was reported to law enforcement agents on scene at 11:22 a.m. A Park Police spokesman said a District of Columbia officer tried to engage Pickett in conversation before the Secret Service officer, who was inside the White House fence, shot the suspect. Secret Service agents said they believe Pickett was the only person involved in the incident.
Speaking to reporters at mid-afternoon, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said President Bush was in no danger. The incident took place shortly after Bush held a tax-cut event on the south lawn of the White House. "At approximately 11:30 this morning, while the Secret Service was on patrol around the White House, agents heard shots fired and proceeded to surround a subject with gun," Fleischer said, reading a terse statement. "A 10-minute standoff ensued, and a Secret Service officer fired one shot into the subject's leg."
Several witnesses close to the scene told CNN of a rapid-fire series of events outside the White House's imposing wrought iron fence. "He was just standing in the streets and just randomly fired a few shots," said one witness, Martin Manley. "There were no police officers in that area when I heard the shots being fired," Manley told CNN. Manley said he dropped to the ground to take cover. "I was in the parking lot, probably 75-80 feet away," Manley said. He said many people did not realize that shots were being fired, but that those who did took cover behind bushes and cars. "I could hear them talking to [the suspect]," Manley said. "They told him to 'drop the gun, it doesn't have to be this way. We can talk to you.' There was one more shot, then they immediately converged on him," Manley said.
UPDATE (2/7/01): Today's shooting on the White House lawn is the most serious thus far of a string of incidents and death threats that began with a blaze that destroyed a motor boat owned by then-President-elect George W. Bush on December 16, 2000. The fire was later ruled to be the work of arsonists. Two days later, on December 18, a Florida man was arrested after being caught driving a car containing firearms near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. On December 22, a Charleston man was accused of sending an e-mail to the White House threatening to kill George W. Bush. On the day of the inauguration, thousands of protesters hurled insults and some threw objects at the presidential motorcade, forcing the car crrying Bush to stop on one occasion. Yesterday, a British teen was arrested and questioned in connection with a death threat against Bush that was emailed to the White House just prior to the election.
In only two months time the grim earth element influence of Jupiter and Saturn (or Chief Tecumseh, whichever you believe) has escalated from vandalism and verbal or written threats to an actual shooting on the White House. I fear that at this rate, George W. Bush may not survive 2001 let alone 2002. Each time an incident such as this one occurs, it inspires other people "on the fringe" to act out. Thus, a snowballing effect may propel this presidency into an avalanche of unprecedented assassination attempts -- one which may ultimately prove to be fatal.