Two white supremacists charged with plotting to behead blacks across the country and assassinate Barack Obama while wearing white top hats and tuxes were likely too disorganized to carry out the plot, authorities said, and their planning was riddled with blunders.
Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., and Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells are accused of dreaming up the plan. While authorities say they had guns capable of creating carnage, documents show they never got close to getting off the ground.
Among the blunders: They drew attention to themselves by etching swastikas on a car with chalk, only knew each other for a month, couldn't even pull off a house robbery, and a friend ratted them out to authorities.
"Certainly these men have some frightening weapons and some very frightening plans," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who studies the white supremacy movement. "But with the part about wearing top hats ... it gets a bit hard to take them seriously."
Authorities did not believe Cowart and Schlesselman had the means to carry out their threat to assassinate Obama, said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.