Two men arrested in Tennessee for plot to kill Obama and school children

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The United States federal law enforcement agency, ATF, had two young men in the state of Tennessee arrested by the local Crockett County sheriff's department on October 22 on unspecified charges.

In court documents published on Monday, it came to light that the men allegedly had discussed committing a school shooting at a predominately African-American school and beheading 14 of them.

Another alleged plot involved the assassination of Presidential candidate Barack Obama. According to affidavits, the suspects' "final act of violence" would be when they assaulted Obama while wearing white tuxedos and top hats and driving "their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows."

Photo from Schlesselman's MySpace page

The two suspects are Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Arkansas and Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee. According to court papers, they met last month over the internet through a mutual friend. Schlesselman and Cowart are alleged to share "very strong views" about White Power.

Schlesselman listed "being racist" as his occupation on his MySpace page. He further wrote: "I'm white. I'm proud. I get angry. I like guns. I like weapons. I need money wiggers ... be afraid."

Cowart also had a MySpace page on which photos of weapons were presented under a heading of "My Guns". On his page he wrote, "Better to die quick fighting on your feet then [sic] to live forever begging on your knees."

Some have questioned the pair's ability to carry out the alleged schemes, but authorities have been very concerned about Obama as the first black presidential nominee from a major party.

"We honestly don’t know if they had the capability or the wherewithal to carry out the kind of plan that they talked about," said Malcolm Wiley, of the United States Secret Service in an interview with The New York Times. "But we take any threat seriously no matter how big or how small it is."

Cowart and Schlesselman are scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday. They are being held without bond. No co-conspirators have been found or alleged.