Officials stopped a plan to assassinate presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Two neo-Nazi skinheads were arrested after investigators learned they were planning to rob a gun dealer and shoot or decapitate as many as 102 black people including U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama.
Digital Journal -- The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives says law enforcement officials thwarted a plan by two neo-Nazi skinheads to kill Obama. Documents unsealed today show the two men planned to shoot and decapitate as many as 102 black people.
The documents were unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn.
The two men planned to rob a firearms store and then target high schools where the African-American population was high. The men allegedly planned a murder spree where 88 black people would be shot and 14 decapitated. Officials say 88 and 14 are symbolic numbers in the white supremacist community.
“The allegations set forth in this criminal complaint are serious and will be treated as such,” said Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, in a news release (opens in PDF). “The public can rest assured that federal, state and local law enforcement are diligently working together to investigate and prosecute the alleged activity.”
According to the complaint, the incident was to occur one month ago. The two men who met over the Internet allegedly have "strong beliefs" about "White Power” and “Skinhead” philosophy. The complaint also says the two men discussed robbing a gun store to get weapons and ammunition, and one man drove from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up the other.
The complaint says the two men then discussed their killing spree in greater detail, including targeting black schools and ending in a "final act of violence" by killing Obama.
“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, in a news release. “The Secret Service does not comment on this type of investigation.”
The complaint says both men were willing to die in their attempted plot to kill Obama and they "planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows."
The defendants were arrested Oct. 22 by the Crockett County Sheriff’s Office and had their initial appearance in court today.
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Arkansas are charged with the illegal possession of a sawed off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee, and making threats against a major candidate for the office of president.
The investigation is continuing, and more charges are possible.