Investigating The Alleged Threat To Obama

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Twenty-eight-year-old Tharin Gartrell was arrested with rifles, ammunition and drugs in his truck on Sunday. Investigators say he allegedly threatened Sen. Barack Obama, but emphasize that he never posed a "credible threat" to the candidate or to the Democratic National Convention.


Mark Hosenball, investigative correspondent for Newsweek

Peter Hunt, chairman of Hart Research

Investigators Downplay Alleged Obama Threat

A mug shot of Tharin Gartrell

Tharin Gartrell, 28, is under investigation on drug and weapons charges. He allegedly threatened Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. AP/Arapahoe County Sheriff hide caption

toggle caption AP/Arapahoe County Sheriff

Authorities investigating a man arrested with rifles, ammunition and drugs in his truck who allegedly threatened Barack Obama emphasize that he never posed a "credible threat" to the candidate or the Democratic National Convention.

Federal and local authorities had scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, but U.S. Attorney Troy Eid downplayed the case. Two other suspects were also arrested.

"We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention or the people of Colorado," Eid said in a statement.

FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright confirmed that the FBI was investigating reports that the man, identified as Tharin Gartrell, 28, had threatened Obama, who will be in Denver this week to accept the Democratic nomination for president.

Police pulled over Gartrell as his truck weaved across lanes of traffic early Sunday morning. They found bulletproof vests, two rifles — including one with a scope — ammunition, walkie-talkies and drugs.

Hours later, Gartrell led them to two nearby hotels, where authorities arrested two more men — Nathan Johnson and Shawn Robert Adolf.

Johnson told KCNC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Denver, that others involved in the case had made racist statements regarding Obama and had discussed killing him on the day of his nomination acceptance speech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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