Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was nearly shot by a U.S. Secret Service Agent in 2006, according to an excerpt of a forthcoming book published at TheAtlantic.com.
In the “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry,” Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady report that the incident occurred while Ahmadinejad was in New York to give a speech at the United Nations. As he and his entourage were getting into their motorcade one morning, a Secret Service agent discharged a shotgun in the direction of the Iranian delegation, allegedly by accident.
Ahmadinejad and the Iranian delegation reportedly looked in the direction of the shooter before going on their way.
“When I read that, I remember closing my eyes,” a source who read the intelligence brief on the subject at the time told Ambinder and Grady, indicating that White House officials feared Ahmadinejad would use the incident as a mallet to bash the United States.
But to the surprise of the White House, Ahmadinejad never mentioned it in public.
Ahmadinejad is currently finishing up the final months of his 8-year, two-term tenure as Iranian president.
UPDATE 6:42 p.m.:
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan tells The Daily Caller that the claims in the book excerpt, including the year of the incident, are “not accurate at all.”
“I mean, the year is off, the weapons are off, the location’s off,” he said. “There’s nobody in the vicinity.”
Donovan also provided an emailed statement on the Secret Service’s position on the matter.
“In September of 2007, one of our personnel assigned to the Iranian presidential protective detail accidentally discharged one round from a Heckler & Koch MP-5 into the floorboard of a Secret Service vehicle while conducting an equipment inspection,” he said in the statement.
“At the time of the discharge the vehicle was parked in a motorcade staging area at the United Nations. There were no protectees or foreign security personnel in the vicinity of the vehicle at the time of the discharge. There were no injuries sustained by anyone as a result of the incident.”
“The Secret Service takes weapons handling and safety very seriously and a full investigation was conducted by our Inspection Division at that time,” the statement continued. “This matter was handled internally and in an appropriate manner.”