The Secret Service on Saturday launched a security review to learn how a man carrying a knife was able to get inside the front door of the White House on Friday night after jumping a fence and sprinting more than 70 yards across the North Lawn — the first time that has ever happened.
Within seconds, the man who his public defender said served three tours in Iraq — and relatives said served as a sniper — got to the front double doors of the North Portico, turned the brass knob and stepped inside the vestibule. There he was grabbed and subdued by an officer standing post inside the door. He had a folding knife with a 2 1 / 2-inch serrated blade.
The success Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, had in breaching White House security Friday night — roughly 10 minutes after the president and his daughters lifted off the south grounds in his helicopter for Camp David — exposed new, worrisome gaps in the Secret Service’s extensive efforts to keep the first family safe and make the White House a “hard target.”