REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - A teenager says he convinced the White House he was Iceland’s president and managed to schedule a call with George W. Bush but was found out before he got to talk to the president.
“My call was transferred around a few times until I got hold of Bush’s secretary and managed to book a call meeting with Bush the following Monday evening,” Vifill Atlason, 16, told Reuters.
The teenager posed as Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson when he made the call on Dec 1.
Icelandic police turned up at his door two days later — the day of the planned call — and took him in for questioning.
“They told me the CIA had called the National Commissioner of the Icelandic police and asked if the police could try and find out where I received that phone number from,” said Atlason.
The teenager said he was unable to recall where he discovered the telephone number for the White House.
“I know I’ve had it on my phone card for at least 4 years now and that an Icelandic friend gave it to me, but I don’t remember who,” he said.
At a White House news conference on Monday, Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said her understanding was that Atlason had called a public line “that anybody can call”, according to a transcript.
Local police confirmed the National Security Unit at the national police headquarters had asked them to bring Atlason in.
Jon Bjartmarz, Chief Superintendent at Iceland’s national police headquarters, said Icelandic police had not spoken to their U.S. counterparts about the matter. He declined to say how police were tipped off about Atlason’s call.
“As far as we’re concerned, there will not be any further investigation, and I don’t know if the American government is taking any action because of this,” he said.
Reporting by Kristin Arna Bragadottir in Reykjavik, via Stockholm newsroom; editing by Keith Weir