Iraq

Iraq war veteran stormed White House with knife

Iraq war veteran stormed White House with knife
The US army has confirmed that a Texas man accused of scaling a fence and getting inside the White House with a folding knife before being stopped is an Iraq war veteran.

The 42-year-old Omar Jose Gonzalez was arrested Friday and is expected in federal court on Monday to face charges of trying to illegally enter the White House while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.

The military said Gonzalez, who retired from army in 2012 due to disability, served in Iraq from October 2006 to January 2008.

Gonzalez has said after the arrest that he needed to contact the US president because he was “concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing.”

Obama and his family had left the White House shortly before the breach occurred.

The family members of Gonzalez say that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is in need of help.

“I know he’s got heavy artillery, you know?” said Jerry Murphy, whose mother was married to Gonzalez for several years.

“He’s got all kinds of weapons and he was trained to use them. I believe if he wanted to make a scene or cause problems, he very well could have. But it’s clear that he didn’t.”

Gonzalez’s ex-wife and Murphy’s mother Samantha Bell said that in addition to dealing with PTSD, Gonzales also suffered from plantar fasciitis on his feet, on which he had had some surgeries.

“Omar is a good guy; he’s just got some issues that he needs help with,” she said. “I think this is a cry out for help, what he’s done.”

The embarrassing security breach has put the US Secret Service under increased criticism as Gonzales managed to make it all the way inside a White House building before a Secret Service police office could stop him. The US has described the White House as one of the most heavily secured buildings in the world.

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