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Archive for the ‘Racial Hate’ Category

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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