US President Barack Obama is receiving a record number of death threats, averaging at 30 per day
US President Barack Obama is receiving a record number of death threats, averaging at 30 per day, according to Ronald Kessler, author of the new book, In the President's Secret Service. Since Mr Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the rate of death threats against the president has increased by 400 per cent from the 3,000 per year that President George W. Bush used to receive.
Reports in The Daily Telegraph state te that some threats to Mr Obama have been publicised, including an alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee late last year to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history. Most however, are kept quiet because the Secret Service fears that revealing details would only increase the number of copycat attempts. Although most death threats are not credible, each one has to be investigated meticulously.
After Mr Obama was elected president, his two children Malia, 11, codenamed Radiance, and Sasha, eight, codenamed Rosebud, began receiving Secret Service protection. Mr Obama's wife Michelle is codenamed Renaissance. The Secret Service also started to protect Vice-President Joe Biden's children, grandchildren, and mother.
Yet Ronald Kessler believes the Obamas still need more support. "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'."
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