Sai Varshith Kandula, a 19-year-old man of Indian origin from Missouri, was arrested in Washington on Monday night after intentionally crashing a rented box truck into security barriers at Lafayette Square near the White House. While there were no injuries or ongoing danger, investigators found a Nazi swastika flag that apparently came from inside the truck.
Kandula, a Nazi admirer, waved the flag after culminating his six-month plan to “seize power” from the government, according to authorities. He later told Secret Service agents that he had flown from St. Louis on a one-way ticket that night and wanted to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.” Kandula also stated that he would “kill the president” if necessary. He bought the flag online due to his admiration for the Nazis’ “great history” and their “authoritarian nature, eugenics, and their one world order.”
Kandula had rented the U-Haul in Herndon, Virginia, and had a valid contract in his own name. People can rent a truck from U-Haul at the age of 19, and there were no red flags on his rental record that could have prevented the contract from being issued, according to U-Haul. Although the US Secret Service monitors hundreds of people who have threatened the president, it is unclear whether Kandula was on their radar or had threatened the president before. Kandula was arrested on multiple charges, and prosecutors charged him with damaging US property.