Threats Against Obama Prompt Unprecedented Security


The threat level against Barack Obama is prompting an unprecedented security effort by the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, whose department oversees the Secret Service, told the Washington Post, “I think what will be different perhaps for the new president is [he] may excite the attention of some domestic groups that maybe were not that engaged previously.” Current and former Secret Service and intelligence officials said Obama’s ascent has led to spikes in threatening “chatter” on white supremacist Web sites and a few incidents that led to intensive investigation.

As Obama’s campaign crowds swelled, the Secret Service got more money from congress, spending more than $110 million on the 2008 election, about 50 percent more than the previous record $74 million it spent for the 2004 cycle. The agency swept 4.3 million people with metal detectors at campaign and official events, twice as many as the 2.2 million checked in 2004, the first election in which it began using magnetometers for events by candidates other than sitting presidents.


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