Speculation, Theories Abound About Mysterious Assailant
WASHINGTON (AP) - Little information has been acquired thus far about the motives and identity of a Caucasian female who injured four on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for the US Capitol Police said.
"We believe the suspect arrived on the House floor at about 12:43 PM and seated herself at a vacant desk next to Congressman [John] Sarbanes (D-MD)," Capitol Police spokesman Dan Anderson said. "The suspect did not engage in any noteworthy behavior until about 3:13 PM, when Congressman Sarbanes yielded the remainder of his time to her after addressing the floor regarding the farm bill."
The unidentified woman's address to the House, which was broadcast live on the cable network C-SPAN and has since been widely distributed over the Internet, has been widely examined by professional and amateur cryptologists worldwide attempting to decipher hypothesized connections to terrorism, domestic political extremists, or other esoteric claims. After opening with the phrase "My fellow Americans: Green April Yamaha flenses applique in toto, dos tacos chorizos con huevos, Allahu akbar," the woman continued for approximately five minutes reciting a seemingly incoherent series of phrases derived from various languages. (For the full text of the speech, click here.)
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) requested that Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving restore order when the woman continued speaking after being informed that her time had been exhausted. Upon his attempt to remove her microphone, the woman was observed on the live broadcast to violently tackle Irving and attempt to re-acquire it. Boehner, Sarbanes, and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) were injured attempting to assist Irving before Capitol Police reinforcements entered the chamber and arrested the suspect.
The suspect died of unknown causes shortly after being taken into custody. An autopsy will be performed Friday, Anderson said. Irving was transported to George Washington University Hospital and was in stable condition Wednesday evening after suffering multiple fractures and bite wounds. Boehner, Sarbanes, and Smith suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
Video surveillance shows that the suspect entered the Capitol through the main gate shortly before noon, Anderson said, and was admitted by a security officer after showing identification. A forged Congressional ID card was found on the suspect's body, identifying the suspect as "Thompson van der ibn-Teddysburg", a congressman representing the 17th congressional district of the state of "West Chippewa". The security officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of why and how the suspect's identification was accepted as legitimate.
The Capitol Police have established a toll-free hotline for citizens with any information about the suspect's identity. Over five hundred calls had been received as of 6 PM on Wednesday night, Anderson said. More information is expected when the Capitol Police hold their next scheduled press conference on Monday morning at 9 AM EDT.
Wednesday's incident marks the third time an individual with forged credentials has attempted to enter the House floor in recent years, Anderson said. Unidentified individuals were detained and released in 1998 and 2003, after attempting to gain access to the House with credentials identifying them as a congressman from the state of "Hamilton" and a non-voting observer from "the Commonwealth of Amalgamated Polynesia" respectively.
A spokesman for Boehner's office declined to comment on the intrusion or on the nature of the Speaker's injuries.
Memo from O5-4: Get a kill-switch installed on the C-SPAN camera. These leaks are getting out of hand.