Barack Obama 'ought to be shot' says racist plotter
Friday, 29 August 2008

A man at the centre of a suspected assassination plot against Senator Barack Obama has said that the presidential candidate "ought to be shot" because of his colour

The Telegraph

The chilling threat by Nathan Johnson, 33, followed his arrest with two other men when an arms cache was found in a pick-up truck. The men, one of whom is said to have strong ties to the white supremacist movement, were last night under investigation and facing initial charges for illegal firearms possession.
 
Mr Johnson boasted in an interview with the CBS4 radio station in Denver that he and his friends Tharin Gartrell, 28, and Shawn Robert Adolph, 33, had discussed killing Mr Obama when he accepted the nomination of the Democratic party at a sports stadium on Thursday.
 
"He don't belong in political office," he said. "Blacks don't belong in political office. He ought to be shot."
 
US authorities moved quickly to state there had been "no credible" threat to Mr Obama's life and any plot the men had hatched had been "crude", while his advisers sought to play down the incident. "We're not commenting on security issues," said Anita Dunn, a senior aide.
 
But the Secret Service, FBI and the US Joint Terrorism Task Force are all investigating the alleged plot and more arrests could follow.
 
Mr Gartrell was arrested on Sunday after he was stopped for driving erratically. His rented vehicle was found to contain two rifles - one with a telescopic sight and one stolen - along with walkie-talkies, a bullet-proof vest, licenses in the names of other people, wigs and balaclavas, as well as a quantity of the drug methamphetamine.
 
The arrest led police to the Cherry Creek Hotel in Denver, about four miles from Invesco Field - where Mr Obama will accept the nomination - to pursue Mr Adolph, 33, who was already wanted on numerous warrants.
 
He jumped out of a sixth floor hotel window, breaking an ankle, and was arrested. Police sources said he was wearing a swastika.
 
Mr Johnson was then arrested and is said to have told police that the two men "planned to kill Barack Obama at his acceptance speech". Natasha Gromek, Johnson's girlfriend, was also arrested on a drugs charge.
 
CBS4 reported that one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle ... sighted at 750 yards".
 
When one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama", a CBS4 source said, "he responded in the affirmative".
 
Fox News reported that the three men might have links to Sons of Silence, an outlaw motorcycle group, as well as white supremacists.
 
Troy Eid, a US Attorney, played down the incident. "We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado," he said in a statement.
 
A US government official said: "It's premature to say that it was a valid threat or that these folks have the ability to carry it out."
 
He added: "It could also turn out that these were nothing but a bunch of knuckleheads, meth-heads."

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