US govt stops plot to assassinate Obama

US agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a murder spree in the state of Tennessee.

In court records unsealed today, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun shop and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads.

Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Mr Obama as their final target, Mr Cavanaugh said.

“They said that would be their last, final act – that they would attempt to kill Senator Obama,” Mr Cavanaugh said. “They didn’t believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.”

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee, and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Arkansas, were held without bail.

They are charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally-licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are possible, Mr Cavanaugh added.

Agents seized a rifle, a sawn-off shotgun and three pistols from the men when they were arrested and US authorities alleged the two men were preparing to break into a gun shop to steal more.

An Obama campaign spokeswoman travelling with the senator in Pennsylvania had no immediate comment.

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