Experts say officials were right to take threat seriously

Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman (Crockett County Sheriff's Department)
Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman (Crockett County Sheriff's Department)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The plot by Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman to assassinate Barack Obama is a plan experts said should have been taken seriously, despite its likelihood of happening.

"It was far outside the realm of possibility, I mean they're talking about wearing tuxedo's and top hats. I mean obviously ridiculous, but what's not ridiculous is them taking sawed off shotguns and shooting people," Heidi Beirich with the Southern Law Poverty Center in Montgomery, Alabama said.

Beirich said Daniel Cowart is involved in some serious skinhead groups.

"Cowart has been involved in Supreme White Alliance at least since March, and we know he attended Hitler's Birthday party in April," Cowart said.

Studies show the number of hate groups is up 45 percent since 2000.

"For hate groups, what they see in their future is whites will move from the majority to the minority. Due to growth of Latino population. Their dream is to go back to pre civil rights movement," Cowart said.

Beirich said while the two men probably would not have gotten anywhere with their assassination plan, they may have ended up killing many others in the process.

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