The Anti-Defamation League assisted in the investigation into white supremacists arrested in an alleged plot to assassinate Barack Obama.
The ADL, which tracks white supremacist groups, provided the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with information on Daniel Cowart, 21, of Jackson, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark.
A joint ATF and Crocket County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Office investigation culminated Oct. 22 in the arrests of the two men, who were charged with “possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threats against a major candidate for the office of president,” according to an ADL release.
News reports said the men planned to murder 88 blacks, possibly at a local high school, and also discussed assassinating Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate.
ADL had information on the pair partly because of Cowart’s involvement in Supreme White Alliance, a racist skinhead group monitored by the Jewish civil rights body.
“The arrests of these dangerous white supremacists prevented what could have been the most serious act of domestic terrorism in recent years,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director. “This case shows how extreme ideologies easily lead to extreme actions.”