CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Mid-South men held in plot to kill Obama

Skinheadplot_t220 Two Mid-South men with strong white-supremacy beliefs are in custody after planning a state-to-state killing spree, targeting black citizens and ending with the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., near Jackson, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., hatched their plan after they met on the Internet last month and discussed their shared interest in "White Power" and "Skinhead" philosophies, officials said.

"The individuals began discussing going on a 'killing spree' that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African-Americans," according to an affidavit filed by Special Agent Brian Weaks of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "The numbers 88 and 14 have special significance within the 'White Power' movement."

The two men had accumulated a sawed-off shotgun, pistols and a .308-caliber rifle and planned to attack an unnamed, predominantly black school and end with an attack on Obama.

"Schlesselman states that they planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama, shooting at him from the windows," the affidavit said. [Mark Godsey]

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