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Page last updated at 19:07 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

US Secret Service report reveals 91 security breaches

Mrs Salahi shaking hands with President Obama
A pair of gatecrashers managed to get into Barack Obama's first state dinner

An internal US Secret Service document shows that there have been 91 instances of security breaches since 1980, most of them involving the president.

The breaches include a family driving a vehicle on to the White House grounds and a man being allowed access after being mistaken for a delivery driver.

The report comes only two weeks after a couple gatecrashed a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama.

The 2003 document was obtained by the Washington Post newspaper.

The Washington Post said the report had been used for training officers in the Secret Service, the branch in charge of the president's security.

'Concerned and embarrassed'

A spokesman for the Secret Service, Ed Donovan, said that there had been 10 security lapses since 2001, including the incident in November 2009 involving Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

The well-dressed couple gained access to a state dinner given in honour of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

They mingled with the guests and even had their picture taken with Mr Obama.

Secret Service director Mark Sullivan accepted responsibility for the breach, saying it made him "deeply concerned and embarrassed".

Among the more serious security breaches listed in the Secret Service document is a 1994 incident in which a man fired 29 rifle rounds at the White House from outside the perimeter fence before being apprehended.

It also cites an incident in the same year in which a pilot was killed when his small plane crashed in the White House grounds.

In another startling breach of security dating from 1982, a family of four neared the Oval Office in their vehicle. All they had done to gain access to the White House grounds was honk their horn.

Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said the document "reflects a proactive attempt to evaluate our security and obviously raise awareness of uniformed division officers and agents about their job".

He also pointed out that despite the publicity surrounding the recent gatecrashing incident, the service's officers had successfully protected 34 top US figures and 222 international dignitaries attending the UN general assembly.



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