Two Mid-South men plot to kill Obama

Posted: October 28, 2008 in Nitegator

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., are in custody after planning a state-to-state killing spree. The men with strong white-supremacy planned to kill 88 people  and behead 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 8’s (the eighth letter of the alphabet) or H’s stand for “Heil Hitler.” and 14 is referring to a 14-word phrase attributed to an imprisoned white supremacist: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”.

The plan was to end with the assassination of presidential candidate Barack Obama. The men stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt. Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt.

Cowart and Schlesselman planned to travel state to state to finance their plan with home invasions and stockpile weapons by robbing gun dealers. Last Tuesday, armed with knives and handguns, they targeted a home in Bells just northwest of Jackson, but aborted the robbery plan when they encountered a dog in the backyard and two vehicles next to the house. They went to a Wal-Mart in Brownsville where they bought food, nylon rope and two ski masks. Cowart used a .22-caliber pistol to shoot out a window at Beech Grove Church of Christ Wednesday, they even wrote racially motivated words and symbols on Cowart’s vehicle, including a Swastika and the numbers 14 and 88.

Cowart and Schlesselman, who were arrested Wednesday in Crockett County, appeared in federal court Monday in Memphis. They are charged with making threats against a major candidate for the office of president, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. They are in custody and have a hearing Thursday when a judge will determine whether to set a bond.

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