Plotter Against Obama Was Member of Supreme White Alliance
Daniel Cowart, one of the two men arrested Friday in an alleged plot to assassinate Barack Obama and murder more than 100 people, was a member of a racist skinhead group formed earlier this year. The group, the Supreme White Alliance (SWA), posted a note after the arrests saying that a “probate” member — clearly Cowart, although the site didn’t mention his name — had been booted out some time ago.
Cowart, in fact, is described as “member #3” of the SWA on the group’s Ning site (Ning is a social networking site), meaning he was the third to sign up for an account on that site. In “Daniel Cowart’s Supreme White Alliance page,” Cowart describes himself as “easy going and easy to get along with, as long as you are White!” In addition, the photo above that is posted on the site shows Cowart at a birthday party held for Adolf Hitler last April along with others linked to the SWA, where the group is displaying a birthday cake marked with its SWA acronym.
It’s not clear if Cowart’s alleged partner, Paul Schlesselman, was a member or associate of the group. The SWA posting suggests that he is not.
The two men were arrested after federal agents uncovered what they described as a plot to go on a multi-state “killing spree.” In an affidavit, the ATF said that the two, both of whom it described as holding “strong” white supremacist beliefs, had met via the Internet in late September. They later got together and allegedly decided to kill 88 people, followed by beheading another 14 African Americans. (The numbers are neo-Nazi codes representing white supremacist slogans.) Officials said they also intended to target a predominantly black high school, a gun store, and individuals who they planned to rob to raise money. The final act, according to the affidavit, was to come when both men dressed in white tuxedoes and top hats and attempted to shoot Obama as they drove toward him while shooting through the windows, agents said. Both men fully expected to die in their final attack.
The SWA Ning site also carries a page showing “Daniel’s Friends,” belonging to Daniel Cowart, that lists as a friend Steven Edwards (posting as “Stevenfuckit08″), the current president of SWA. Edwards is the son of Ron Edwards, who is the imperial wizard, or national leader, of the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), based in Kentucky. Civil Rights organizations are currently involved in litigation with Ron Edwards and the IKA over the beating of a teenage boy in 2006. The case is scheduled for trial on Nov. 12.
Internet Hate describes the rapidly expanding practice utilized by racists and extremists to place anti-Semitic, racist, and other hateful material on the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has enabled bigoted and sometimes violent messages to reach a much wider and broader audience than ever before. Consequently, these messages of hate have become widely accessible online - in homes, offices, schools, and libraries.
For years extremists have used printing of every kind -- books, pamphlets, posters, newspapers, magazines -- to get their message out. They have also tried to use modern inventions such as movies. radio, television, recorded audio and video tape and even telephone messages to spread their beliefs. So it is not surprising that they have decided to take their hate to the Internet. The Internet lets them reach millions with a click of a mouse.
Haters use the World Wide Web with its colorful web pages, sounds, and images to push propaganda attacking their enemies. Some of these pages suggest that violent action is needed. Old lies are reprinted and new ones are created. Neo-Nazi Skinheads try to sell the latest CDs filled with calls for "racial holy war."
It is fairly easy to create a simple Web page. Many bigots have. They often try to create the false impression that many people are involved in their activities. This frightens their targets and encourages supporters.
The number of racists and anti-Semites is small compared to the rest of the population; in addition, they are fairly spread out. Yet, on the Internet, they can find people who think like them, which strengthens their beliefs and makes them feel less isolate.
Because extremists on the Internet can hide their real identity behind screen names and addresses (like anyone else), they feel free to attack those they hate. They realize there is no way for anyone to know who they are.
This blog was created to shine a light on who these haters are, where they hang out on the web, and the methods they employ to try and intimidate their victims.