After getting a threat on President Obama's life, the US Secret Service asked Connecticut state and local police for help Friday in finding a blue 2014 Volkswagen Jetta with Connecticut license plates.
"Information has been received by law enforcement regarding a potentially suspicious person and vehicle. We are working with our local law enforcement partners to determine the validity of the information provided," said the Secret Service statement.
Media reports said that the man might be armed with an assault rifle.
Connecticut state police reported finding the car late Friday night in Hamden, Conn., a town just north of New Haven. Police reportedly handed a suspect over to the Secret Service for questioning, reported NBC Connecticut Saturday.
A false alarm? The Secret Service would only say this about that: “We have taken all appropriate investigative steps in this matter, based on the information we received yesterday about a suspicious vehicle and person,” Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said. “There have been no arrests or charges brought in this case at this point.
On Friday afternoon, President Obama was in New York for a fundraiser, before flying to a fundraising dinner at a private home in Newport, R.I. The Rhode Island fundraiser was for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, reports WPRI.com. Obama left Rhode Island at about 10 p.m. Friday.
Hamden, Conn. is about 100 miles from Newport, R.I., and about half way between the two fundraising events. On Saturday, Obama was expected to fly back to Westchester County, N.Y., to attend the wedding of his personal chef, Sam Kass, and MSNBC host Alex Wagner, at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, reports CBS-TV.
President Obama receives about 30 death threats per day, according to Ronald Kessler, author of the 2009 "In the President's Secret Service." That's a nearly four times the rate of the approximately 3,000 threats per year faced by George W. Bush, according to Kessler.
Most of the threats are not credible, and not made public, but must be investigated by the Secret Service. But Kessler's book makes the case that the Secret Service is understaffed. "We have half the number of agents we need, but requests for more agents have fallen on deaf ears at headquarters," a Secret Service agent told Kessler. "Headquarters' mentality has always been, 'You can complete the mission with what you have. You're a U.S.S.S. agent'," reported The Telegraph.
Among those cases that have been made public include a plan to build a "death ray" to kill those considered enemies of Israel, including President Obama.
Last year, authorities alleged Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway, N.Y., who worked for General Electric, had tried to build a "mobile, remotely operated, radiation-emitting device" to target victims with lethal doses of radiation, according to media reports.
Another plot revealed in 2012 involved four soldiers who allegedly formed an anarchist militia within the US military with plans to overthrow the federal government and assassinate the president, according to the Associated Press