September 11 in memories: White House, US Congress locked down over airspace alert

The White House and United States Congress were locked down for nearly an hour Tuesday over a suspected airspace intrusion over Washington as the officials still had no detail explanation for what triggered the alert.

According to an AFP reports, Major Andrew Hennessy, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command cnfirmed that "a track of interest" appeared on radars early Tuesday, sparking concern.

He said: "Something that gave off a signature that our radar registered" set off the alert in restricted airspace over Washington forced a brief lockdown in the White House.

Washington airspace has been a no going area after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. This incident bring to memories how the Al Qaeda jihadists flew two airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth airliner that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania was believed to have been intended for the White House or the Capitol.

Washington airspace restrictions were severely tightened after those attacks, which left nearly 3,000 dead as surface-to-air missile batteries were installed around the city to target potentially attacking aircraft.

The US Secret Service which protects the president and his family described the incident as "a potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region."

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