Possible Plot to Assassinate Obama?
August 26, 2008
A Possible Plot Against Obama
By PATRICK HEALY
DENVER — City and federal authorities said Monday night that at least three people were under arrest on firearms and drug charges in connection with a possible plot to kill Senator Barack Obama during his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night.
The United States attorney’s office in Denver has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to discuss its investigation. A spokeswoman for the Denver Police Department said that an “aggressive” inquiry had been under way since the first arrest in the case. That occurred during a traffic stop in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday morning, when the police seized firearms and methamphetamine, the authorities said.
It was not clear how well along the possible plot was, or whether the people under arrest had found a way to overcome the heavy security surrounding the Democratic convention. Mr. Obama is scheduled to deliver his speech at Invesco Field, near the convention center.
The United States attorney for Colorado, Troy Eid, seemed to play down the degree of threat that Mr. Obama faced.
“Because this matter is currently under investigation, there is little we can say right now,” Mr. Eid said in a statement. “We can say this: We’re absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado.”
The police said they had found two rifles, one with a scope, in the car, along with walkie-talkies, a bulletproof vest and licenses in the names of other people. One of the rifles was listed as stolen from Kansas.
The investigation included the Secret Service, the F.B.I. and a joint terrorism task force, officials said.
Linda Douglass, a senior adviser to the campaign, declined to comment late Monday on reports of the investigation. It is the campaign’s practice not to comment on such reports, which have occurred periodically through the campaign.
Detective Marcus Dudley Jr. of the Aurora Police Department, said the first arrest involved Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, who was taken into custody after the police pulled him over for driving erratically in a rental truck early Sunday morning.
The others arrested were identified as Nathan Johnson, 32, who was picked up a few hours later by the Denver police at a hotel.
The third arrest took place about half hour later. The suspect was identified as Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, who was arrested in Glendale, near Denver, shortly after leaping from a sixth-floor hotel window, the authorities said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Reporting was contributed by Dan Frosch and Kirk Johnson