US man charged over fake Obama assassination plot

NEW YORK (AFP) - A 30-year-old US man was arrested Wednesday and released on bail accused of lying to the Secret Service about a fake plot to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Juana Medina, allegedly called 911 on Aug 29 to say his former roommate was travelling to New York with two guns to kill Obama while the President was visiting the area.

US prosecutors said Medina's motive was to get his former roommate in trouble because he disliked him dating a friend of his.

He was arrested at his home in Yonkers, a suburb of New York, on Wednesday morning and appeared before a US federal court in White Plains where he was released on bail of US$25,000 (S$31,000).

He faces a maximum five years in prison if convicted.

On Aug 29 while Obama visited surrounding Westchester County, Medina allegedly made the call saying his former roommate was travelling to New York with AR-14 and AK-47 firearms to kill the President.

The caller, who identified himself as "Hassan," gave his friend's address in New Haven, Connecticut and a description of his vehicle.

In response to the call, dozens of federal, state and local police were scrambled in New York and Connecticut, but Secret Service agents found no evidence supporting the allegations.

The presumed suspect told officers that he believed a friend of his girlfriend was responsible.

Medina is accused of lying during two interviews with Secret Service agents, before admitting in a third interview that he did make the call using a pre-paid cellphone, which he later sold.