January 28, 2008 / 7:17 PM / 9 years ago

Man arrested for threatening Bush near White House

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<p>The White House is pictured in Washington, January 28, 2008.Jonathan Ernst</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man on Monday was arrested and was being charged with making a verbal threat against U.S. President George W. Bush outside the fence at the White House, the Secret Service said.

"We had an individual arrested for making a threat against the president on the fence line," said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the Secret Service. "He left behind a suspicious package."

That prompted the area immediately outside the White House to be closed off to the public. The Secret Service also closed off the north lawn outside the West Wing of the White House to reporters while the package was investigated.

An "all clear" was issued shortly before 4 p.m.

Wiley identified the man as 28-year-old Aleksandar Aleksov and said he told authorities he lived in New Jersey. "I do not believe he had any weapons," Wiley said.

He did not have any details on what Aleksov allegedly said in the verbal threat.

Bush was at the White House preparing for his State of the Union address in the evening.

Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria and Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Todd Eastham

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