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article imageUnmanned drone recovered from White House grounds

By Nathan Salant     Jan 26, 2015 in Technology
Washington, D. C. - A drone aircraft found on the grounds of the White House in Washington, D.C., prompted new concerns Monday about the quality of protection offered to U.S. President Barack Obama and his family.
The Obamas were away on an overseas trip and were not at the White House on Monday at dawn, when the drone was found on the southeast side of the residence and office complex, according to the Associated Press.
Officials at the White House said there was no security threat to the Obamas or to the historic building, which has been the home of every U.S. president since the second one, John Adams, moved his family there in 1800.
Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, and the kids' grandmother, Marian Robinson, live at the White House and were in the residence at the time of the incident, the AP said.
The crash of the unmanned two-foot drone, known as a quadcopter because it features four propellers, forced an immediate lockdown of the grounds and the building,
U.S. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said the drone crashed on the grounds just after 3 a.m.
"An investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects," Leary said.
Emergency vehicles swarmed the White House before dawn Monday and the complex stayed on lockdown until 5 a.m., when arriving workers began to be allowed inside.
After daylight, Secret Service officers spread around to search the grounds for any clues that could lead to discovery of the origin of the drone, the AP said.
Whatever is ultimately discovered, the drone crash near the president's residence raised new questions about the effectiveness of the Secret Service, one of the U.S. government's most exclusive and secretive agencies.
Similar questions last year resulted in the resignation of the agency's director, Julia Pierson, after at least two serious breaches of White House security.
In September, a Texas man carrying a knife got past security and penetrated deep inside the executive mansion before being stopped and arrested, the AP said.
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