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Skinhead plot news sweeps suspect’s Tenn. hometown October 28, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in News, Obama, Politics.
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Courtesy of The Associated Press

 

BELLS, Tenn. (AP) — In a rural Tennessee county where you can’t buy alcohol or even find a Wal-Mart, residents of tiny Bells stopped each other to ask if anyone knew the pale-skinned young local accused of plotting to kill dozens of black people, including Barack Obama.

It was a jolt to find out on Monday that a 20-year-old who grew up among them was one of two white supremacists accused of plotting a national killing spree that would ultimately target Obama, the Democratic candidate for president.

The town surrounded by fertile cotton fields is safe and certainly not known for breeding neo-Nazis, they agreed.

“If we had any skinheads in this county I wasn’t aware of it. We hardly know what they are,” said Sam Lewis, who lives across the street from the mother of suspect Daniel Cowart. Cowart, he said, grew up in the comfortable, well maintained neighborhood and wasn’t known as a troublemaker.

“His mother is a real sweet, nice girl, and this comes as a shock and a surprise,” Lewis said.

Cowart is charged along with Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., with planning a killing spree to shoot and decapitate black people and top it all off by attacking Obama. The charges were made public Monday.

Cowart and Schlesselman are charged by federal authorities with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer and threatening a candidate for president. They were being held without bond.

Authorities describe the two as neo-Nazi skinheads, and an affidavit from a federal agent says they devised a plot to kill 88 people — beheading 14 of them. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The killing spree was initially to target a predominantly black school, which was not identified in court documents. It was to end, authorities said, with the two suspects — dressed in white tuxedos and top hats — blasting guns from the windows of a speeding vehicle aimed at Obama.

The young men said they expected to die in the attack, the affidavit said.

Obama’s campaign had no immediate comment on the alleged plot.

In Helena-West Helena, on the Mississippi River in east Arkansas’ Delta, Schlesselman was described as a “troubled child” by a woman who works with his adoptive father, Mark Schlesselman.

 

Article continues @ http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jsCEnrVzDQoU5tg63njLNy0UTDNAD943BSV00

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