Alert at White House lifted | india | Hindustan Times
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Alert at White House lifted

The Secret Service called off an alert an hour after a man tossed a suspicious package onto the compound's North Lawn while President Bush was away.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 23:18 IST
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The Secret Service called off an alert at the White House an hour after a man tossed a suspicious package on Wednesday onto the compound's North Lawn, officials said.

The all-clear was sounded after authorities found "nothing of protective interest" in the package, said Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin.

Mackin did not immediately know what was in the package. A man was taken into custody, and "this individual has a done a similar act in the past and he is in custody," an official said.

The package was noticed just after President George W Bush left in his helicopter from the South Lawn -- on the opposite side of the White House -- for a trip to the state of West Virginia. A remote-controlled device was used to probe the package near a fence.

"Normal security protocols are in place," Mazur said. The Secret Service secured the White House and raised its internal alert system by one level during the investigation, a Homeland Security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the review was ongoing.

Reporters, cameramen and photographers were told to remain inside the briefing room while officers investigated.