Way more to explain about this story than is contained in this Reuters squib in Google News headlines right now, to be sure (like under what circumstances these men were "found" and how the BATF is so sure of what their long-term intentions were, and if they in fact were guilty of any actual criminal actions beyond their alleged wanting, planning, and plotting to do harm), but let the speculation begin:
Law enforcement arrested two men in Tennessee who had plans to rob a gun dealer to shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and "as many non-Caucasians" as possible, an official said on Monday.
An official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said police found the men in the Jackson, Tennessee area with a number of guns, including a sawed-off shotgun, in their car.
"They wanted to go to a place where they could shoot as many non-Caucasian as they could," the official said, noting that the men first planned to rob a gun dealer. "They also had a plot to assassinate Sen. Obama."
Buckle up, folks, the ride's getting wilder.
UPDATE: AP via Breitbart has both less and more details: exactly 102 black people were supposedly to be shot or decapitated had this BATF-foiled plot been carried out.
UPDATE II: And this BATF press release actually gives some story to the story. I can only assume this release, found by me at 3:10 pm pacific, was not available to Reuters when they wrote, or else they deliberately chose to leach the story of all relevant facts and details. To quote:
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Arkansas were charged in a federal complaint, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008….The Criminal Complaint charges Cowart and Schlesselman with the illegal possession of a sawed off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee, and making threats against a major candidate for the office of president.
According to the complaint, approximately one month ago, Cowart and Schlesselman met via the internet through a mutual friend and both claim to have very strong beliefs regarding "White Power" and "Skinhead" philosophy. Cowart and Schlesselman began discussing going on a "killing spree." The complaint further alleges that Cowart and Schlesselman discussed robbing a gun shop (federal firearms licensee) in order to gather weapons and ammunition. The complaint notes the defendants were in possession of a sawed off shotgun.
On Oct. 20, 2008, Cowart allegedly traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up Schlesselman in order to carry out their plan. The complaint states that at this time, the defendants further discussed their killing spree to include targeting a predominately African American school and to continue their spree until their final act of violence,which would be to attempt to assassinate Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.
…after soliciting a friend to drive their car between 11 p.m. on Oc. 21, 2008, and 2 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2008, the defendantsmade plans to rob a house, but were diverted when they arrived and observed a dog and two cars at the location….
The defendants were arrested on Oct. 22, 2008, by the Crockett County Sheriff's Office. "Once we arrested the defendants and suspected they had violated federal law, we immediately contacted federal authorities," said Sheriff Troy Klyce of Crockett County.
The complaint sounds like it asserts all sorts of things that the authorities wouldn't necessarily know if the first time these morons crossed the paths of police eyes was at this October 22 arrest, unless the accused just began dropping dimes like they were pennies on each other. Or perhaps that "mutual friend" was a federal informant? The two had their initial court appearance today, and will be back for a detention hearing in Memphis on Thursday.