Indian Origin Youth Pleads Guilty To White House Attack

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has announced that Sai Varshith Kandula, a youth of Indian origin, has pleaded guilty to the White House attack. In the incident, he rented a U-Haul truck, crashed into Lafayette Square, and raised a Nazi flag.

Indian Origin Youth Pleads Guilty To White House Attack 1

Sai Varshith Kandula, a 20-year-old immigrant with familial ties to Chandanagar, Hyderabad, who entered the country with a green card and entered Lafayette Square in Washington last year, entered a plea of guilty to causing damage to federal property.

Driving from St. Louis, Kandula rented a U-Haul truck, crashed into Lafayette Square, and raised a Nazi flag.

Sai Varshith Kandula allegedly informed the police that his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation” after being arrested.

Sai Varshith Kandula declared in court that he was born in India and was not a citizen of the United States.

The defense team informed the court that Sai Varshith had mental health problems and that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia when the case was brought up for hearing on May 13.

Recall that on May 22 of last year, Sai Varshith—who had allegedly been planning his next move for the previous six months—arrived in Washington from St. Louis, where he was residing with his parents.

Upon exiting the airport, he rented a U-Haul truck and proceeded in the direction of the White House. When police arrived in Lafayette Square, his car crashed into the bollards, and police who reached the spot arrested him.

In a press release dated May 13, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia stated that Kadula, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, “pleaded guilty today in an attempted attack on the White House’ on May 22, 2023, and driving a U-Haul truck into the fence surrounding the building.”

“Kandula pleaded guilty to a charge of willful injury or depredation of property of the United States,” the office said.

US Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI special agent in charge Sanjay Virmani of the FBI Washington field office’s counterterrorism division, US Park Police chief Jessica M. Taylor, and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) chief Pamela A. Smith announced the plea deal. Special agent in charge Matthew Stohler of the US Secret Service also made an announcement.

The US District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich has scheduled sentencing for August 23, 2024. According to officials, Kandula is an Indian national born in Chandanagar, India. At the time of the incident, he held lawful permanent residency in the US with a green card.

Court documents reveal that Kandula boarded a commercial flight from St. Louis, Missouri, to Washington D.C. on May 22, 2023, with a layover at another airport, using a one-way airline ticket. Upon arrival at Dulles International Airport at approximately 5:20 p.m., he proceeded to rent a truck at 6:30 p.m. After stopping for food and gas, he drove to Washington, D.C.

Later that evening, at 9:35 p.m., Kandula crashed into the barriers protecting the White House and President’s Park at the intersection of H Street, Northwest, and 16th Street, Northwest.

Pedestrians fled the area when Kandula drove onto the sidewalk. The truck hit the barricades, lurched forward, then struck the metal barriers again before backing up and taking another hit. The truck was rendered inoperable by the second strike, and its engine compartment started to spew fluids and smoke.

Kandula then got out of the car and proceeded to the back of the truck, according to the records. He pulled out a three-by-five-foot red-and-white flag with a Nazi Swastika in the middle from a bag and waved it. At the scene, US Park Police and US Secret Service agents apprehended and detained Kandula.

The plea deal states that Kandula was trying to enter the White House to take political power at the moment he smashed the truck into the White House fence.

“Kandula’s intent was to replace the democratically elected government with a dictatorship fueled by the ideology of Nazi Germany and for himself to be put in charge of the United States. Kandula admitted to investigators that he would have arranged for the killing of the US President and others if necessary to achieve his objective. His actions were calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, the documents said.

Due to Kandula’s activities, U-Haul International suffered damages exceeding $50,000 and the National Park Service suffered damages of $4,322. This sum includes the price of the wrecked U-Haul truck, oil and chemical removal, spill cleanup, and disposal of fluids from the crashed vehicle, as well as the costs associated with restoring the metal bollard barriers to their original state and guaranteeing their structural soundness.

The prosecution filings stated that Kandula spent several weeks organizing the attack. He tried a few times to get inside cars or with armed protection before hiring the truck and smashing it on White House property. For instance, on April 22, 2023, Kandula asked a Virginia-based security company for an armored convoy and 25 armed guards.

Kandula made multiple attempts to get in touch with businesses on May 4, 2023, hoping to rent a big truck—a dump truck, a tractor-trailer truck, or something else entirely. Kandula’s attempt to obtain security guards, a dump truck, or a tractor-trailer truck was unsuccessful. In an attempt to carry out his crime against the US government, Kandula had tried to arrange for the use of big vehicles and the services of these security guards.

The US Park Police, the MPD, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and the US Secret Service all looked into this issue. Alex Schneider, a special assistant US attorney, led the prosecution.

Last year GreatGameIndia reported about how the US supposedly foiled India’s terrorist assassination plot on Sikh rebel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

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