OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 2:28 PM – Thursday, April 13, 2023
Documents with official private security information about President Joe Biden’s trip to Northern Ireland were found on the street in Belfast this week.
According to a U.S. Secret Service agent, the documents were found relatively close to the hotel where President Biden was staying and contained details about the operation, such as street closures and security measures to identify hostile vehicles, as well as the names and contact information of the police officers involved.
On the first day of Biden’s three-day trip to the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland, the discovery of the documents set off a security lapse that embarrassed law enforcement officials but reportedly had no effect on other planned events.
The official claimed that there was “nothing hurting” the security strategies of the Secret Service in the documents. There has been no incident-related intrusion into Secret Service networks, and there are no preparations to alter Mr. Biden’s itinerary, or travel arrangements.
Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, and his supporters have consistently tried to convince critics that the president is not experiencing any sort of mental decline, but this latest incident is anticipated to bring more criticism to him and his administration.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) informed the Secret Service of media reports regarding a potentially sensitive document, which may contain law-enforcement material… While we do not discuss the specifics of any protective operation, the President’s movements were not affected by these reports,” said the Secret Service in a statement.
However, a representative for the Northern Ireland police confirmed that the breach is now the subject of an investigation.
“We take the safety of visiting dignitaries, members of the public, and our officers and staff extremely seriously and will put the appropriate actions in place,” the representative said.
Biden is in Northern Ireland to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, is the U.S.-mediated peace accord that effectively put an end to the region’s 30 years of conflict. Ever since, the agreement has had an impact on every facet of life in Northern Ireland, from the political structures, such as the power-sharing government, to Brexit and how it functions in the United Kingdom.
Biden is set to fly to the Republic of Ireland where he is scheduled to visit his ancestral homes and to give a speech to the Dublin parliament.
Right on schedule, the president left Belfast on Wednesday and made it safely to Dublin, where he will continue the rest of his journey.
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