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Intruder Enters UN Through Unguarded E. River Post, To Ban's Office

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Must-Credit

UNITED NATIONS, August 27, updated -- There was a break-in at the UN on Monday afternoon, Inner City Press has learned, while global news media focused on Syria chemical weapons and possible missile strikes.

  The intruder came in through the door or Security post next to the satellite dish facing the East River, proceeded up toward the top of the UN where Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's office is.

   When the intruder was finally apprehended, he was taken into custody by the 17th Precinct of the New York Police Department. As it turns out, he had been with his father working an electrical job on 21st Street.

  But as more than one UN Security officer told Inner City Press, it could have been someone else, it could have been much worst.

   Budget cuts are blamed, as they are for delay in responding to an electrical fire in the UN basement. The post by the satellite dish, which used to have an officer there, has been without guard for some time. Tuesday, Inner City Press went an observed, the post was filled again. But for how long?

  The fire, in the third sub-basement where there used to be a UN Security operational post, was belatedly noticed by cleaning staff. The UN spent $2 billion on its renovation, while cutting actual people working.

  The same holds true for its audio-visual work: an expensive and so-far unsuccessful upgrade in hardware, while spending less on people, as questioned by the new Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info. We'll have more on this: watch this site.

  In January 2012 Inner City Press exclusively reported the finding (and initial covering up) of cocaine in the UN's mail room. After that exclusive, and Inner City Press asking at the day's UN noon briefing, then DSS chief Greg Starr held a stakeout. Several wire services wrote stories giving no credit, saying this was fine since based on UN response to the Press' exclusive.

 Now the DSS acting chief is Kevin Kennedy, who said on August 23 that he was heading to Somalia. How will the UN and its Alliance react? We'll see.

Update of 12:50 pm -- Inner City Press, after e-mailing questions to UN spokespeople Farhan Haq and Martin Nesirky before 11:30 am, asked at the day's noon briefing. Haq confirmed the intrusion: "a young individual scaled the fence" and got into "the Tower" but did not answer on the role of budget cuts. Video here, from Minute 20:50. We'll have more on this.


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