FBI investigate 'Obama' plot

Just days before Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination before an open-air crowd on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech, the authorities in Denver are investigating a possible assassination plot against the man bidding to be the first black president in the White House.

Three people were being held in custody, one of whom jumped from a sixth floor window of a hotel in an attempt to escape. Denver police revealed that they had earlier found two high-powered rifles, one with a telescopic sight as well as a bullet proof vest, camouflage clothing, and walkie-talkies during a routine traffic check. At least one of the rifles had been stolen Kansas. The police also discovered 44 grams of methamphetamine in the car.

According to a local CBS news channel one of the three suspects told the police they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle ... sighted at 750 yards."

The authorities played down talk of an assassination plot and seemed determined not to allow the investigation to overshadow Mr Obama's big moment when he appears before an estimated 70,000 people at Invesco Field stadium tomorrow (THURS) night.

“We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado,” Troy Eid, the US attorney for Colorado, said in a statement.

However, CBS reporter Brian Maass, who broke the story, managed to briefly interview one of the suspects inside Denver City Jail on Monday night. "So your friends were saying threatening things about Obama?" he asked. "Yeah," a suspect named Nathan Johnson replied. "It sounded like they didn't want him to be president?" "Yeah," Mr Johnson said.

Denver Police Department said an “aggressive” inquiry was under with the Secret Service, the F.B.I. and a joint terrorism task force taking part. A law enforcement official in Denver told the Associated Press that the three men were facing only gun charges -- a signal that officials believe the trio never posed a real threat.

A heavy security cordon has been thrown up around the Democratic convention sites, with police in paramilitary uniform patrolling the streets and sharpshooters positioned on the top of tall buildings. Mr Obama has been the subject of many threats over the past two years, many from white supremacists, and his security is a constant nagging worry for American voters.

Hilary Clinton drew heavy criticism at the end of her bitter primary struggle with the Illinois Senator when she raised the assassination of Bobby Kennedy as a reason for staying in the race. Explaining why she refused to concede long after it was clear she could never win the nomination she said: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California..."

The first arrest was of an individual named Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, who was driving erratically in a rented pickup truck in the early hours of Sunday morning. The others were identified as Nathan Johnson, 32, who was taken into custody a few hours later at a hotel, and Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, who leapt from a sixth-floor hotel window onto an awning below, breaking both his ankles

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent