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Racists plotted to kill Obama, ATF says
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post
10/27/2008 04:59:18 PM PDT

WASHINGTON — Investigators disrupted an improbable plan to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama and kill 102 other African-Americans in a spree fueled by white supremacist ideology, officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Monday.

Federal prosecutors in Jackson, Tenn., unsealed a criminal complaint charging two men with conspiracy, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun and making threats against a presidential candidate. Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, remain in federal custody.

The men met online nearly a month ago through a mutual friend who was not identified in court papers. Their chats intensified and their scheme took shape, according to a sworn statement by ATF agent Brian A. Weeks.

Using a .308-caliber rifle and a high-powered weapon they planned to steal from a gun store, the men plotted to “drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows,” the affidavit said. “Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt.”

Cowart traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up Schlesselman at his residence Oct. 20. From there, they planned to rob a gun shop, target a predominately African-American school and ultimately attack Obama, who is leading in most national polls in his bid for the White House.

The far-fetched plot soon fell apart, however. The day after they met in person, the men attempted to rob a home in Bells, Tenn., only to be deterred when they spotted a dog and two vehicles on the premises, Weeks wrote.

On Oct. 22, while driving around randomly, they shot a window out of the Church of Christ of Beech Grove in Brownsville, Tenn., then returned to Cowart’s grandfather’s house, according to court papers. The same day, they purchased chalk and drew swastikas and other “racially motivated words and symbols” on the hood of their car, court papers said. The Crockett County sheriff took the men into custody that night.

Authorities recovered a short-barreled shotgun, two handguns, a rifle and ammunition, they reported.

“It is critical that the alleged plot was interrupted,” said James Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Nashville office.

Richard Harlow, special agent in charge of the Memphis field office of the U.S. Secret Service, said the agency “takes all threats against presidential candidates seriously.”

Joe Byrd, an attorney for Cowart, did not return calls. A spokeswoman for the federal public defender’s office in Jackson, which is representing Schlesselman, declined to comment.

Both men are scheduled to appear again in court Thursday for a detention hearing, said Lawrence J. Laurenzi, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

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Skinheads held over Obama death plot
By Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday.

Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.

The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed.

“We’re unsure of their ability or if they have the wherewithal to carry out any of their threats,” said a source close to the investigation.

Obama would be the first black president in U.S. history if he defeats Republican John McCain in the November 4 election. Concerns about Obama’s safety led the Secret Service to provide round-the-clock protection from early in his campaign.

The suspects met over the Internet about a month ago, said an affidavit filed by Brian Weaks, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The individuals began discussing going on a ‘killing spree’ that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans,” Weaks said in the affidavit.

The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people, Weaks said in the affidavit.

“They further stated that their final act of violence would be to attempt to kill/assassinate presidential candidate Barack Obama,” he said.

The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car.

They planned their first house robbery for October 22 but ended up leaving without breaking in. Instead they bought ski masks, food and rope to use in their robbery attempts.

They were arrested later that day and officials unsealed the court docket on Monday.

They wrote racially motivated words and symbols on the exterior of Cowart’s vehicle, including a Swastika and the numbers “14” and “88” on the hood of the car.

ATF special agent in charge James Cavanaugh said “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet and 88 stood for “Heil Hitler.”

“The U.S. Secret Service takes all threats against presidential candidates seriously and is actively investigating the allegations,” said Richard Harlow, special agent in charge of the Secret Service-Memphis Field Office. “The Secret Service does not comment on this type of investigation.”

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McCain volunteer admits to hoax
Saturday, October 25, 2008
By Michael A. Fuoco, Jerome L. Sherman and Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Almost from the start, Pittsburgh police were skeptical about a young woman’s claim that she had been mugged and a “B” carved into her cheek by an attacker who was provoked by the sight of a John McCain bumper sticker on her car.

Yesterday, their doubts were confirmed when 20-year-old Ashley Todd, a McCain volunteer from College Station, Texas, admitted that she made the whole thing up.

There was no black man with a knife, no robbery, no physical assault.

And the backwards “B” on her cheek? She’s not sure, she told police, but assumes she did that herself. As for the black eyes, police assume they likewise were self-inflicted.

Her story quickly became political fodder on the Internet and spread around the world, fueled by the presidential campaign and Ms. Todd’s political connections as a field representative for the College Republican National Committee and McCain volunteer.

But in less than a day, the international story of a McCain volunteer being attacked, traumatized and disfigured for her political beliefs deflated into a sad tale of a troubled woman with a history of mental problems.

Police were sensitive to that fact yesterday, saying that while Ms. Todd would face at least a charge of filing a false report with police, she would not be released until she had a mental health evaluation.

“We don’t feel she should be able to walk out onto the street,” said Pittsburgh Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant. “We wouldn’t want any further harm to come to her.”

Ms. Todd was in the Allegheny County Jail last night on $50,000 bond after her video arraignment before District Judge John N. Bova. Judge Bova requested that she undergo an evaluation by the jail’s behavior clinic. She’ll return to court on Thursday.

The day after the purported attack, both Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin called Ms. Todd, offering words of comfort. Yesterday, McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Peter Feldman issued a statement: “This is a sad situation. We hope she gets the help she needs.”

Ms. Todd told police a black man with a knife approached her at a banking machine at Citizens Bank at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street in Bloomfield shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. She said after she gave him $60, the robber spotted the McCain stickers on her car, became enraged, knocked her to the ground and punched and kicked her.

She quoted him as saying “You are going to be a Barack supporter,” as he sat on her chest, pinning both of her hands down, and scratched the letter “B” on her right cheek.

First among the problems with her story was the fact that the “B” scratched on her face was backwards — as it might be if she had done it herself using a mirror.

“The backwards ‘B’ was the obvious thing to us when we first saw her. Something just didn’t seem right,” Assistant Chief Bryant said. “And, first of all, with our local robbers, they take the money [and flee]. They’re in and out. They’re not stopping to do artwork.”

Additionally, said Lt. Kevin Kraus, investigators were struck “that it was a superficial, pristine ‘B,’ which seemed highly inconsistent with the story she reported that it was a violent attack, basically in which she was fighting for her life.”

Nevertheless, Assistant Chief Bryant said, Ms. Todd reported herself as a victim, so police began an investigation. Then they found more and more inconsistencies.

Ms. Todd underwent five hours of questioning at police headquarters on the North Side Thursday night and submitted to a polygraph. Her story kept changing — the attack happened before she got to the bank machine; she was hit from behind and rendered unconscious; she didn’t know she had been cut or robbed until she went to the apartment of a friend, Dan Garcia; the attacker had sexually fondled her.

Yesterday, she told detectives she was driving alone in her car when she looked in the rearview mirror and saw the letter on her cheek. She didn’t remember how it got there but assumed she had done it because she had incidents of memory loss in the past. The letter made her think of “Barack,” Assistant Chief Bryant said, so she concocted the story before going to Mr. Garcia’s house.

Once she had told the story to police, “she told lie after lie and the situation compounded to where we are right now,” said Lt. Kraus. He added that Ms. Todd showed no remorse for her actions but was angry with the media, saying they blew the story out of proportion.

Assistant Chief Bryant said the false report created “a huge waste of time, with many man-hours and people coming in on overtime just to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.”

“It created intensive national and international attention,” Lt. Kraus said. “We’ve had detectives working around the clock since she made the bogus allegation. The cost to the city of Pittsburgh has been many, many dollars and resources.”

Ms. Todd’s job as a field representative for the College Republican National Committee brought her to Pittsburgh about two weeks ago to recruit college students. She had worked for the committee since August. Yesterday, the organization fired her.

Ashley Barbera, the organization’s communications director, said workers initially were concerned for Ms. Todd’s safety.

“We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit. Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions,” she said.

In March, Ms. Todd was asked to leave a grass-roots group of Ron Paul supporters in Brazos County, Texas, group leader Dustan Costine said. He said Ms. Todd posed as a supporter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and called the local Republican committee seeking information about its campaign strategies.

“She would call the opposing campaign and pretend she was on their campaign to get information,” Mr. Costine said last night. “We had to remove her because of the tactics she displayed. After that we had nothing to do with her.”

About a month earlier, he said, Ms. Todd sent an e-mail to the Ron Paul group saying her tires were slashed and that campaign paraphernalia had been stolen from her car because she supported Mr. Paul.

“She’s the type of person who wants to be recognized,” Mr. Costine said.

Mr. Garcia, 32, a first-year student at the University of Pittsburgh law school who also is from Texas, met Ms. Todd in May at a gathering of young Republicans in their hometown of College Station. On Wednesday night, she came back to his house, bruised and battered, and told him of the attack. He contacted police.

Mr. Garcia said his immediate response was to tend to the wound on her cheek. A police officer arrived, and Ms. Todd became belligerent when the officer asked where the mugging happened.

“I don’t know!” she told him, using an expletive, Mr. Garcia said. “I’m not from here.”

Mr. Garcia, Ms. Todd and the officer then drove through Bloomfield until they arrived at the Citizens Bank on Liberty Avenue. She told the officer it was the right spot. Assistant Chief Bryant said yesterday police aren’t even sure Ms. Todd was in that area Wednesday night.

The officer asked Ms. Todd if she needed medical attention. She declined. Instead, Mr. Garcia said, they went to eat at Ritter’s Diner on Baum Boulevard. He then persuaded her to go to nearby UPMC Shadyside, where he waited for her until 2 a.m.

“I don’t know why she would do this,” Mr. Garcia said yesterday, after learning that she had fabricated the story. “I would think that she needs help.

“I had red flags going up, but I didn’t think it was prudent of me to ask the truth. I wanted to make sure she was OK.”

Now Mr. Garcia says he is furious that Ms. Todd deceived him. He has cut off all contact with her, he said.

Mr. Garcia took the widely published picture of Ms. Todd with her injuries. He said he took several photographs with a digital camera to document what had happened. He said he only gave copies of the photos to police and Ms. Todd’s employer, the College Republicans. One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention.

Ms. Todd was a student at Blinn College in Texas. She decided to take a year off to work in politics. Mr. Garcia said she told him she was estranged from her mother.

On her MySpace profile, where her screen name is “Italian Pajamas,” Ms. Todd gives her occupation as “Being a badass.” Next to her picture, she references the title of a song by the group Panic at the Disco: “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths (sic) off,” but adds to it “but its (sic) better if you do.”

Among the books she lists as favorites: “The Scarlet Letter.”

Ashley Todd - McCain Volunteer

Ashley Todd - McCain Volunteer

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McCain Palin - The New Faces Of Hate, Lies And Fear Mongering

McCain and Barracuda Palin

At McCain rallies, people in the crowds have shouted “kill him”, “terrorist”, “traitor”, “treason”, “arab”, “Muslim” and other hateful and malicious slurs against Barack Obama. McCain – Palin continue, to this day, to falsely accuse Obama of being allied with terrorists.

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Dube Egwuatu Shot Three Times For Wearing Obama T-Shirt

Dube Egwuatu Shot Three Times For Wearing Obama T-Shirt


I was shot three times by racist for wearing this Obama shirt
Danny Brierley
07.10.08

A man told today how he was shot three times in the street for wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt.

Dube Egwuatu was buying a mobile telephone top-up card in a south London off-licence when the gunman confronted him and glared at the top, which carries an image of the Democrat US presidential candidate underneath the legend “Believe”.

The man then launched into a tirade of racist slurs, shouting: “I f***ing hate n*****s” and urging 36-year-old Mr Egwuatu to leave the shop with him.

The man then left the shop in South Norwood but when Mr Egwuatu reemerged, the attacker was waiting for him in broad daylight with a threatening looking dog and holding a gun behind his back.

Realising what had sparked the increasingly violent assault, the terrified Mr Egwuatu zipped up his jacket to cover the image of Mr Obama and walked to his car.

But the shaven-headed man followed Mr Egwuatu and after pulling open the passenger door pointed the gun at him.

After pleading with the man to leave him alone, the married former street warden put the keys in the ignition and turned the engine on.

The attacker then fired the gaspowered ball-bearing pistol three times, hitting the civil servant in the face, hand and shoulder.

Fearing for his life and bleeding heavily, Mr Egwuatu raced away in his car and found somewhere safe to call for help.

He was taken to hospital and later sent to have a piece of metal removed from his jaw.

Mr Egwuatu, a data analyst with Croydon Council, said:

“The venom in his voice was frightening.

He was telling me that he was going to kill me.

I couldn’t believe it was happening – and just because I was wearing an Obama T-shirt. He was trying to make me walk somewhere quieter, saying: ‘I’ve got something for you,’ and ‘I’m going to kill you.'”

He added:

Obama inspires me, his educational track record alone is quite unbelievable, that is why I was wearing the T-shirt. I did not think for one minute it could stir up such powerful feelings of hatred and I never said a word to him.”

Mr Egwuatu’s wife, Angela, 35, said neither of them had experienced anything like it during their childhood in Nigeria.

Mrs Egwuatu, an immigration officer, said:

“At first my feelings were pure horror and now it is pure anger. If he had been carrying a real gun I would have been a widow. It is just ridiculous. I don’t know how a person’s mentality works. Why would a T-shirt get you to the point where you want to shoot someone.”To the untrained eye, ballbearing guns like the one used in the attack look every bit like a real firearms.

The potentially lethal weapons are often converted by criminals to fire real bullets, and can be bought easily in high-street shops and on websites.

The Met said it was investigating and that police searched a nearby house which the attacker was seen going into. No one has been arrested.

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