Israeli embassy
© Reuters (file photo)
A man armed with a knife and clad in a bulletproof vest has been taken into custody outside the Israeli Embassy in the US capital. His intentions remain unclear and the suspect has yet to be identified.

The Secret Service responded to a call Friday morning, around 8am, regarding a "suspicious person in a vehicle" near the embassy, the agency said in a statement.

While the man has not been identified, the Secret Service said he was in possession of a knife, and had left his car running outside the diplomatic building.

In a search of the vehicle, police say they found a single bullet, but no firearm, as well as the man's dog.

Several streets around the embassy were shut down, the Secret Service said, adding the closures would be "lifted at the conclusion of the investigation."

The man did not appear to threaten anyone or to brandish the knife, according to a law enforcement source contacted by NBC, but nonetheless will likely undergo a psychiatric evaluation in custody.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy confirmed that a "security event" had taken place earlier in the day.

"A man in the area arose suspicion," the spokesman tweeted. "Unarmed & not aggressive, he posed no security risk. As a precaution, security alerted @SecretService, who resolved it alongside local police. We thank them for their help & commitment to our safety."

The incident comes on the heels of an Israeli decision to bar US lawmakers Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from entering the Jewish state, which they'd planned to visit later this month. Though the decision was promptly overturned, the move sparked outrage among many of the congresswoman's supporters.