Assassination plot targeting Obama disrupted

October 28, 2008 11:25:39 AM PDT
Federal agents have disrupted an alleged plot to assassinate presidential candidate Barack Obama and dozens of African-Americans.The two alleged skinheads met approximately one month ago on the Internet, according to federal agents. They have been in custody since last Wednesday, as authorities investigated what was behind the suspected plot against Senator Obama.

Last week, they were driving around discussing a 'White Power' murder plot, their car sporting a Swastika in window chalk and other race hate symbols.

Federal prosecutors released a copy of the charges in the plot against Obama, indicating that he was to be among 102 black victims targeted by a pair of young men from rural Tennessee. Authorities say the suspects planned to kill 88 victims with gunfire and 14 people by decapitation.

Federal agents say there is significance to those numbers in skinhead circles: the number 88 stands for "Heil Hitler." "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and there are 14 words in the main marching order of Neo-Nazis, which reads, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

The men, allegedly led by 20-year old Danny Cowart of Bells, Tenn., planned to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as their final target. They said that would be their last, final act, according to a top federal official. The also reportedly said that they would attempt to kill Senator. Obama, that they didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.

ABC7 Chicago found Cowart's MySpace page on the Internet loaded with pictures of guns.

Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were arrested in Tennessee after the Crockett County Sherriff's Department received a tip from the Haywood County Sheriff's Department.

The plotters admitted to investigators that the were planning to rob a gun shop to steal weapons for their killing spree.

Investigators say the men had several weapons, including a Fasi .308 rifle and sawed off shotguns.

The skinheads are accused of shooting out a church window in central Tennessee, their getaway car adorned with swastikas.

They planned to go out in blazing glory, dressed in white tuxedos with top hats and ramming their car into Barack Obama, weapons firing.

ATF agents say Cowart planned to attack an African-American school where he and co-defendant Paul Schlesselman would murder dozens of students.

The men are facing federal gun charges and with threatening a U.S. candidate for president.

Senator Obama's security detail was informed of the plot after it was disrupted.

Secret Service officials were in the Jackson, Tenn. courtroom Monday when the two made their appearances. Agents questioned the after the court proceedings.


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