Date: August 2, 2008
Suspect: Raymond Hunter Geisel
Location: Miami, Florida
Weapons: Loaded 9mm, knives, dozens of rounds of ammo including armor-piercing types, body armor, military-style fatigues, machete, SUV wired with flashing red and yellow emergency lights
Info: Geisel allegedly stated, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself".
Title: Man Held In Florida For Threatening Obama's Life
Date: August 7, 2008
Abstract: A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held at Miami's downtown detention center without bail Thursday by a federal magistrate.
A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."
Obama was most recently in Florida on Aug. 1-2 but did not visit the South Florida area.
Another person in the class quoted Geisel as saying that "he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head," according to the Secret Service.
Geisel denied in a written statement to a Secret Service agent that
he ever made those threats, and the documents don't indicate that he
ever took steps to carry out any assassination.
He was charged only with
threatening Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, but not for any
threat against President Bush. Geisel's court-appointed attorney declined comment.
In the interview with a Secret Service agent, Geisel said "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking," according to court documents.
A search of Geisel's 1998 Ford Explorer and hotel room in Miami uncovered a loaded 9mm handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition including armor-piercing types, body armor, military-style fatigues and a machete. The SUV was wired with flashing red and yellow emergency lights.
Geisel told the Secret Service he was originally from Bangor, Maine, and had been living recently in a houseboat in the Florida Keys town of Marathon, according to court documents. He said he used the handgun for training for the bail bondsman class, had the knives for protection and used the machete to cut brush in Maine.In the affidavit, the Secret Service said Geisel told agents that he suffered from psychiatric problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, but he couldn't provide the names of any facilities where he sought treatment (MSNBC, 2008).
2. NORTH CAROLINA (August 8, 2008)
Date: August 8, 2008
Suspect: Jerry Blanchard
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Weapons: Military sniper rifle
Info: Blanchard allegedly stated, “I'll get a sniper rifle and take care of it myself. Somebody's got to do it...We both know Obama is the anti-Christ".
Title: Charlotte Man Charged With Making Threats Against Obama
Date: August 8, 2008
Abstract: A Charlotte man is in federal custody accused of threatening to assassinate a major presidential candidate.
An affidavit sworn out by a Secret Service agent details the accusations against Jerry Blanchard, a Charlotte accountant. It states that Blanchard threatened to use a military sniper rifle to kill, kidnap and inflict bodily harm upon U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.
The threats were first heard, the agent claims, last month at a Waffle House on Pineville-Matthews Road. Two customers said as they talked with Blanchard, he told them, “Obama and his wife are never going to make it to the White House. He needs to be taken out and I can do it in a heartbeat.”
The customers contacted Secret Service agents in Charlotte, who questioned Blanchard. They said he denied threatening to kill Obama, but admitted he considers Obama to be “the anti-Christ” prophesied in the bible. Agents said they explained to Blanchard that it was illegal to threaten a presidential candidate, and they said Blanchard said he understood.
But two weeks ago, the Secret Service got a second call regarding Blanchard. An employee of the Crown Plaza Hotel in uptown Charlotte said Blanchard was making threats again.The employee told agents he was in the lobby restroom when he overheard Blanchard on his cell phone saying, “I'll get a sniper rifle and take care of it myself. Somebody's got to do it . . . . We both know Obama is the anti-Christ."
The affidavit states that Blanchard claimed he planned to buy a sniper rifle and a pistol from Hyatt Gun Shop on Wilkinson Boulevard.Gun shop owner Larry Hyatt said Blanchard was in his store but bought neither weapon.Blanchard is charged with the felony offense of making threats against a major candidate for the office of president of the United States.
Federal prosecutors have filed a request for a psychiatric evaluation of Blanchard and for him to be transferred to a federal facility. He is currently being held in the Mecklenburg County jail.A spokesman for the Obama campaign said, “The campaign does not comment on these stories (WSOCTV, 2008).
3. COLORADO (August 21, 2008)
Date: August 21, 2008
Suspect(s): Tharin Gartrell, Nathan Johnson, Shawn Adolf
Age: 28, 32, 33
Location: Denver, Colorado
Weapons: Two high-powered scoped rifles, ammunition, sighting scopes, radios, cellphone, bulletproof vest, wigs, drugs, fake IDs
Info: Gartrell, Johnson and Adolf" allegedly planned to assassinate Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and wanted to "Shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a [rifle]".
Title: Plot Unfolds To Assassinate Obama On National TV
Date: August 26, 2008
Source: L.A. Times
Abstract: More details emerging from Denver as we write this in the predawn hours on the now-suspected plot to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama with a high-powered rifle on national television during his outdoor acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night. Authorities have reported a fourth arrest in the unfolding plot that The Ticket first wrote about here a few hours ago at the end of Monday night's Democratic National Convention events at the Pepsi Center.
We knew then that authorities in suburban Aurora had stopped a pickup truck for swerving between lanes early Sunday morning in what they thought was a routine drunk driving incident.
But in the rented vehicle of Tharin Gartrell, a
28-year-old convicted felon (see photo), they found two high-powered
scoped rifles, ammunition, sighting scopes, radios, a cellphone, a
bulletproof vest, wigs, drugs and fake IDs.
According to Brian Maass of Denver's KCNC Channel 4, under questioning Gartrell implicated two other men -- Nathan Johnson. who is 32, and Shawn Adolph, who is 33 -- and Johnson's girlfriend, Natasha Gromack. Johnson also reportedly confirmed the plot to FBI and Secret Service interrogators.One of the men, Adolph, reportedly wore a ring with the Nazi swastika. He was injured when he jumped out of a hotel window fleeing Secret Service agents. All are now in custody on drug and weapons charges. U.S. Atty. Troy Eid declined to elaborate on Monday but said there is no credible threat to the party's convention or to the freshman Illinois senator, who was campaigning in Kansas City on Monday and traveling to Montana today.
But the television station reports that under questioning the men
admitted there was indeed a plot to kill Obama during his speech before
some 70,000 supporters and a nationwide television audience (L.A. Times, 2008).
Date: August 21, 2008
Abstract: The Barack Obama assassination scare in Denver refers to an alleged plot by Shawn Robert Adolf, Tharin Robert Gartrell and Nathan Dwaine Johnson to assassinate Barack Obama, then the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nominee. The trio allegedly planned to shoot Senator Obama with a high-powered rifle during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
The alleged motive for the attempted assassination was a white supremacist belief that an African American should not be elected President of the United States. Gartrell was arrested August 24, 2008, and found to be in possession of rifles and other weaponry; Adolf and Johnson were arrested shortly thereafter. In a televised interview after his arrest, Johnson identified Adolf as the man who allegedly hatched the assassination plot and planned to be the shooter.
Although their suspected white supremacist affiliations led federal
authorities to investigate possible ties to a larger group, authorities
later downplayed the trio as drug addicts who had little chance of
actually carrying out the plot. The three men were charged with drug and
weapons charges, but did not face federal charges of threatening a
presidential candidate (Wikipedia, 2008).
4. PENNSYLVANIA (October 14, 2008)
Date: October 14, 2008
Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Info: An unidentified suspect at a Sarah Palin rally allegedly stated, "Kill him!”, when Palin mentioned Obama.
Title: Feds Probe Comment At Palin Rally
Date: October 17, 2008
Source: The Times Leader
Abstract: Scranton reporter heard someone yell ‘kill him’ when Obama’s name mentioned.
The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s rally are unfounded.
The Scranton Times-Tribune reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and in its print edition Wednesday. The story, written by reporter David Singleton, included allegations that a man in the audience shouted “kill him” while congressional candidatewas addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name. News organizations including ABC and MSNBC’s “ ,” as well as several Internet blogs, repeated the claim, with most attributing the allegations to The Times-Tribune.
Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience along with an undisclosed number of Secret Service agents and not one heard the comment.
“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report.
He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.
Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, all of whom were at the Republican vice presidential candidate’s rally at the Riverfront Sports Complex.
“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said. “We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it.”
Hackett said he did not hear the remark.
Slavoski said Singleton was interviewed Wednesday and stood by his story but couldn’t give a description of the man because he said he didn’t see him, he only heard him.
Singleton referred questions to Times-Tribune Metro Editor Jeff Sonderman who said: “We stand by the story. The facts reported are true and that’s really all there is.”Slavoski said the agents take such threats or comments seriously and immediately opened an investigation, but after due diligence “as far as we’re concerned, it’s closed unless someone comes forward.” He urged anyone with knowledge of the alleged incident to call him at 346-5781 (The Times Leader, 2008).
5. TENNESSEE (October 27, 2008)
Date: October 27, 2008
Suspect(s): Daniel Cowart, Paul Schlesselman
Age: 20, 18
Location: Bells, Tennessee
Weapons: FASI .308 rifle, Mossberg Model 500 AT 12-gauge shotgun
Info: Cowart and Schlesselman allegedly planned to assassinate Obama and declared that, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children".
Title: Feds Thwart Alleged Obama Assassination Plot
Date: October 27, 2008
Source: ABC News
Abstract: Authorities in Tennessee have arrested two men described as white supremacists for an alleged plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and more than 100 others.The alleged plotters were also planning a "killing spree" that included murdering 88 individuals by gunfire and 14 African-Americans by decapitation, with the attempt on Obama's life as the "final act of violence," according to an affidavit filed by a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Authorities arrested Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., in Tennessee after the Crockett County Sheriff's Department received a tip from the Haywood County Sheriff's Department.
According to the affidavit, Cowart told investigators that he and Schlesselman planned to use two rifles in the alleged assassination attempt, and that they "planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows. Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt." The two men "further stated they knew they would [die] and were willing to die during this attempt," the document continued.
A criminal complaint filed with the affidavit in the Western District of Tennessee charges the men with possession of an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal from a licensed firearms dealer and threats against a major candidate for the office of president.
The affidavit says Cowart and Schlesselman met online about a month ago and both claim to have "very strong beliefs and views regarding 'White Power' and 'Skinhead' views."
The affidavit refers to the significance of the numbers 88 and 14 in the "White Power" movement. Fourteen represents the 14 words "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children," according to a law enforcement source. Eighty-eight represents "Heil Hitler," H being the eighth letter in the alphabet.
On Saturday, authorities say the men decorated their car with a Swastika and drew the numbers 14 and 88 on the hood using window chalk. They were arrested later that night.
According to law enforcement sources and the affidavit, the suspected plotters admitted to investigators that they were planning to rob a gun shop to steal weapons for their killing spree, and that their final act was to be a plan to kill Obama.
The court documents say Cowart cased a specific gun store in Jackson, Tenn., taking pictures and drawing a diagram of the shop, which he then sent to Schlesselman.
Investigators say the men had several weapons, including a FASI .308 rifle and sawed off shotguns. The affidavit states that Schlesselman said he owns a Mossberg Model 500 AT 12-gauge shotgun and that he "advised that he cut the barrel down to approximately 16 inches in length in order to make it 'easier to maneuver' during the 'killing spree.'"ATF agents say they recovered a firearm matching that description. Additionally, according to the affidavit, Schlesselman and Cowart admitted to stealing other guns from family members (ABC News, 2008).