The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has foiled a plot by white supremacists to assassinate presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama and go on a killing spree targeting African Americans. The alleged plot involved murdering 102 Blacks, including targeting students at a predominantly Black school and beheading victims.
Federal prosecutors in Jackson, Tennessee charged 20 year old Daniel Cowart and 18 year old Paul Schlesselman with conspiracy, possession of an unregistered sawed off shotgun, and making threats against a presidential candidate. The two men are in federal custody.
According to published reports, the two men had plans to rob a gun shop to steal a high powered weapon, target a school with Black students and attack Obama while driving in their vehicle dressed in white formal wear. In preparation for their planned assassination of Senator Obama the two men shot out a window in a church in Brownsville, Tennessee and adorned their car with swastikas and other racist insignia. Federal agents recovered a shotgun, two handguns, a rifle and ammunition.
Since he announced his candidacy, there have been fears, particularly among Blacks, that Senator Obama would be the target of an assassination plot. As the first Black candidate with a strong likelihood of becoming president, the senator‘s safety has been a concern throughout the campaign. He received Secret Service protection earlier than any candidate in history, an acknowledgment that racism would permeate the presidential campaign. To make matters worse, the rhetoric of his opponents has given some whites license to verbalize their hatred of Senator Obama due to his race in ways that inflame the most extreme views among his detractors.