A small aerial drone has been found on the grounds of the White House but poses no threat, in yet another security breach at one of the world's heavily guarded buildings.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who is in New Delhi travelling with US President Barack Obama, said he did not have details about the size or type of the drone, but he said the Secret Service was investigating. Obama and first lady Michelle are on a three-day visit to India, but their daughters, Malia and Sasha, are in Washington.
The report of a drone came at a time when other threats to the President's family or their home have led to concerns about security, the New York Times reported. While drones are commonly thought of in the context of missile-firing, unmanned vehicles used against terrorists, there is a wide variety of devices that would qualify.
Many small flying drones are available on the commercial market and are used as toys. The Secret Service has received heavy criticism for a number of recent security breaches, including an intruder climbing the White House fence last year and reaching the interior of the building before being caught by agents.
In October, a 23-year-old man climbed over the White House fence and was quickly arrested as he fought two Secret Service dogs. These incidents preceded the disclosure of other serious breaches in security for President Obama and ultimately led to Julia Pierson's resignation as director of the Secret Service after 18 months on the job.