Indian-American Teen Rams Truck Into White House Barrier

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Indian-American Teen Rams Truck Into White House Barrier

| Updated: May 24, 2023 13:40

According to reports, a 19-year-old Indian-origin teen, suspected of purposefully ramming a rented U-Haul truck through a White House barrier, said to police that he wanted to enter the building to “seize power” and “kill” US President Joe Biden.

Prior to 10 p.m. on Monday, US Park Police detained Sai Varshith Kandula after he drove the vehicle into the security barricades on the north side of Lafayette Park, causing several pedestrians to flee the area.

Despite the crash being some way from the White House gates, it required the evacuation of the adjoining Hay-Adams hotel and caused road and pavement closures. In the collision, no one was hurt.

According to a statement of facts submitted in federal district court in Washington DC by a Secret Service agent, Kandula, of Chesterfield, Missouri, hired the truck on Monday night immediately following a one-way flight from St. Louis to Dulles International Airport. Just to the north of the White House, he drove the car onto a pavement outside and struck a metal barrier. Before being apprehended by United States Park Police personnel, Kandula put the truck in reverse and struck the barrier a second time.

According to the document, Kandula admitted to preparing the attack for six months and gave officials a “green book” with the specifics. When Secret Service officials questioned Kandula about a flag with a swastika he took out of a rucksack, he allegedly claimed he had purchased it online because Nazis “have a great history.”

The dossier claims that he declared that he “admires their ‘authoritarian nature, Eugenics, and their one world order'”. According to the report, Kandula named Hitler as a “strong leader” he respects.

In the Chesterfield neighbourhood of St. Louis, where Kandula resides, FBI agents were spotted Tuesday entering and departing his home, and friends found it difficult to connect the alleged attack with the “chill” adolescent they know.

According to Capt. Daniel Dunn, the city’s commanding officer, has no records of any interactions with Kandula or calls for assistance to the family residence. Federal authorities are in charge of the probe, according to Dunn.

Kandula was a member of the Marquette High School track team with Errion Barfield, who recalled him as quiet and unassuming. Kandula was a resident of Chesterfield, a middle-class suburb about 32 kilometres west of St. Louis, which has a substantial South Asian community. Kandula’s year-old classmate Pranav Nagila said he couldn’t understand how Kandula could possibly have a Nazi flag in his possession.

The old classmate who went to school with Kandula added, “I feel like something — either has gone badly internally inside him or maybe between the family.” Aniket Sharma recalled Kandula as “the quiet kid” who loved tennis. He was never willing to speak. And every time I tried to talk to him, it was just small talk; never anything profound. Sharma added, “I always felt he was like a meek, shy kid.” Sharma, who is currently a college student in Missouri, denied that Kandula was a white nationalist or neo-Nazi. Kandula and his family shared a Chesterfield apartment block with Sharma for a number of years.

Investigators also found duct tape, a bag, and a writing notebook inside the car in addition to the Nazi flag. They are trying to determine whether mental illness played a part.

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