Secret Service Foils Trump Assassination Plot In Philippines

Alex Hall | October 15, 2018
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According to The Daily Beast's coverage of NatGeo's United States Secret Service: On the Front Line, US Secret Service agents stopped a credible assassination plot against President Trump attributed to ISIS operatives in Manila last fall.

Anthony Ornato, a Special Agent of the Presidential Protective Division alerted his agents to this threat during the President's visit to the ASEAN summit last November.

The chatter in question was an individual tweeting a mugshot of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald alongside the caption, “Gonna be in Manila the same time as Trump… I’ll take one for the team lads." His IP address was indeed tracked to an area in downtown Manila, only a short distance away from the hotel where the president would be staying. 

According to the Daily Beast's interview with Special Agent Audrey Gibson,

'With social media, there’s software that can scroll through all of [the threats] at a much faster rate than any human can do it, so in some regards it makes it easier. But the bread and butter of what we do is the human element—and the people that work the mission—and that’s never going to change.' 

The individual was tracked down and apprehended alongside an associate at a local park with the help of local law enforcement. Both modern technology and human help were credited for helping to nullify this threat against the president. 

Special Agent Chad Ragan commented further on the nature of the Secret Service as a protection to America's leader regardless of personal political biases:

'It’s sad, just as an American, how partisan everything is,' Special Agent Ragan says. 'That being said, it doesn’t matter if you like the person that’s in office, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like the person that’s in office—the bottom line is you’re not protecting that person, you’re protecting the office and what it stands for. We all believe that. Even though we’re U.S. citizens, have opinions, and talk them over at dinner with our friends or whatnot, work is work. You believe in the mission and the office of the presidency, and that’s one reason that we are able to rise above the politics of it all, because we’re going to protect a Democrat as much as we’re going to protect a Republican as much as we’re going to protect an Independent or Green Party member.'