At the post I snarked, "Yeah, gotta cut that Secret Service detail some slack. The couple just belonged there! Man, if they could just cruise in so casually, it's not far-fetched to think that someone, somehow, could have stashed a cache of small-arms weapons."
But in fact, security experts are suggesting that potentially catastrophic quantities of anthrax, or other WMD-type biotoxins, could have been been secretly introduced at the gala:
In addition, and ominously, it turns out that Tareq Salahi, the polo-playing intruder, is a Palestinian nationalist with ties to the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) , a pro-Palestine lobby demanding the "right of return" for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The "right of return" has long been considered the backdoor to Israel's destruction. But not only that: ATFP President Ziad Asali is an America-basher who blamed 9/11 on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Asali was a lead U.S. official to PLO terrorist Yassir Arafat's funeral in 2004. And in a position paper in 2007, the ATFP called for a power-sharing agreement at the Palestinian Authority, which would have included the State Department's designated-terrorist group, Hamas.
White House officials maintained that even though the pair got into the state dinner without an invitation, they did have to go through all the metal detectors that everyone passes through when entering the White House.
Other security experts described the episode as very serious.
“It’s crazy to say that, because there’s a reason they do background checks and there’s a reason they make sure to only let in people who have been pre-approved,” said Ronald Kessler, author of “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect” (Crown).
Indeed, he said, an intruder could have sneaked something dangerous into the crowd.
“A serial killer or terrorist or agent of Iran or North Korea could come in and release anthrax, for instance, and that’s not going to show up in a metal detectors,” Mr. Kessler said. He added that the Secret Service, in particular, should have been extra vigilant because threats against the president have increased by 400 percent since George W. Bush was in power.
ADDED: ATFP has removed Tareq Salahi from its website's board of directors page.