In Neo-Nazi jargon, "88" equals "Heil Hitler," the twilight language that underlies today's overturned plot.
Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
"They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying."
According to sources within their movement, eighty-eight (88) is used as code among Neo-Nazis to identify each other. H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, so 88 is taken to stand for HH which in turn means Heil Hitler. For example, the number is used in the song "88 rock`n`roll band" by the neo-Nazi group Landser.14 is used similarly, referring to the so-called "Fourteen Words," often found in combination with 88 (1488, 14/88, etc.). This form of the number has inspired the naming of the groups Column 88, Unit 88 and White Legion 88.
The "Fourteen Words" is a phrase used by white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and others. It refers to both the 14-word slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
Also, this is found in the 14-word slogan: "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth."
Both 14-word slogans were coined by David Lane, a member of the Neo-Nazi organization The Order. The first slogan was inspired by a statement, 88 words in length, quoted from Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf:
What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose. And everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility.
It can be combined with 88, as in 14/88 or 1488. The 8s stand for the eighth letter of the alphabet (H), with HH standing for Heil Hitler. 88 can also stand for the book 88 Precepts by David Lane. It can also refer to the Ubermensche, the Neo-Nazis superpower.
As I have written and stressed extensively in The Copycat Effect, the significance of dates in several school shooting scenarios point to the heavy influence of Neo-Nazi thought and symbolism. This all needs to be taken very seriously by those guarding Senator Barack Obama. His protection and security details must be aware of this symbolic but real level of danger to the man who certainly seems in line to be our next president.
More info later:
According to a court affidavit sworn out by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, began discussing the murder plot after meeting online about a month ago. In the ATF affidavit, a copy of which you'll find below, Cowart and Schlesselman "discussed the killing spree to include targeting a predominately African-American school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people."
The pair's "final act of violence" would be an attempt to kill Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee. In separate interviews with investigators, the men said that they planned to speed their vehicle toward Obama while "shooting at him from the windows." Apparently befitting the historic assault, Cowart and Schlesselman "stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt."
Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested last Wednesday night by Tennessee sheriff's deputies soon after the pair used chalk to write "numerous racially motivated words and symbols," including a swastika, on the exterior of Cowart's automobile.
The city of West Helena, Arkansas has been under a 24-hour curfew (a virtual declaration of martial law) since Thursday, Aug. 7th, 2008, in response to a surge of violent crime in parts of the town, as noted by Todd Campbell.
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