Article by Bryan Howard
October 15, 2018
National Geographic aired a special over the Secret service Sunday. They talked about an event only one year into President Trump’s presidency, which was a serious credible threat was made on his life by ISIS.
According to Anthony Ornato, the Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division the threat he talks about transpired in Manila, Philippines, for the ASEAN 50 summit in November 2017 where President Trump was scheduled to land.
“There is credible information that an incident could occur during ASEAN,” says Special Agent Gibson, leading the Secret Service’s personnel brief in Manila. Pointing to a map of ISIS and ISIS-affiliated threat actors, she adds, “As of this week, the Philippines has escalated to a critical threat level.” (Days before the president’s visit, ISIS issued a series of threats—via video—that featured a picture of the president filled with bullets, and a message urging jihadists to “lie in wait” and “ambush” POTUS in the Philippines.)
Prior to President Trump’s arrival on Air Force One, a PID agent informs Special Agent Gibson that he’s come across a credible threat against POTUS—in the form of a tweet reading, “Gonna be in Manila the same time as Trump… I’ll take one for the team lads,” accompanied by a mugshot of Lee Harvey Oswald. And on his Instagram, they find a photo of the male suspect wielding a copy of the book How to Kill: The Definitive History of the Assassin. The PID agents then track his IP address and discover that the man is indeed located in downtown Manila, kilometers away from the president’s hotel, and his social media posts reveal that he is traveling in the direction of the president’s hotel. They continue to monitor him.
The threat was stopped 20 minutes before President trump was scheduled to land. With the help of the Philippine National Police (FNP), Secret Service agents swept the park where Trump was going to be landing and apprehended the suspect.
The Secret Service does not get enough credit for the great work they do with protecting our President, and they need to be honored for their great work.