Alex Constantine - August 26, 2008
By TODD A. HEYWOOD
As news began to build about an alleged plot to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama, the white nationalist Web site Stormfront.org saw 20 posts in two hours.
The early posts expressed shock that police and federal authorities had not immediately accused white nationalists of the crime.
Then, as word began to leak out that at least two of the four suspects arrested were wearing jewelry and tattoos associated with the white nationalist movement, posters on Stormfront.org immediately began to claim distance from the accused, calling the four arrested in the plot “morons” and distancing themselves from the alleged perpetrators.
Below is an example of a post that was since deleted from Stormfront.org:
…it doesn’t hurt to make our positions clear of what we accept for our ranks to distance ourselves a little. Particularly since all of the typical stereotypes are in play. You know. Us “Nazis” are druggies, which brings up images of lacking education and living in trailers as a result. I certainly think there is a little embellishment going on.
The above post was written by Stygian at 10:38 p.m. As this post was being written, Stormfront.org removed the thread about the arrests.
The story of the alleged plot is continuing to unfold in Denver, but here is what is known thus far. Aurora Police pulled over Tharin Gartrell, 28, for undisclosed traffic violations.
Police found weapons in Gartrell’s rented vehicle, including a rifle which has been described as a “sniper’s rifle.” Police went to a hotel, and then to a second hotel following the arrest of Gartrell.
Upon arrival at the second hotel, officers knocked on the door of a hotel room, and the suspect inside jumped out the window, six stories down to a awning, breaking his ankle. Police arrested him a short time later.
Denver station CBS 4 is reporting a total of four arrests have been made in the case. Also, the television station is reporting that the plotters were “going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a … rifle sighted at 750 yards.”
Citing a law enforcement source, CBS 4 reports that one of the arrested individuals was asked if he was there to kill Obama, and that the suspect “responded affirmatively.”
UPDATE: Our sister site The Colorado Independent reports that law enforcement officials are now downplaying the four arrests, and that agencies ranging from federal to local announced a joint press conference for Tuesday afternoon.