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Men Plead Not Guilty

Two me pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiracy and firearms charges in what authorities have described as a plot to assassinate President-elect Barack Obama, the Washington Post reported.

Daniel G. Cowart, 20, of Tennessee, and Paul M. Schlesselman, 18, of Arkansas, are currently being held without bail in a Tennessee prison. The men, thought to be affiliated with the white supremacy movement, were arrested last month.

Both men could face over a decade behind bars if convicted for involvement in the alleged conspiracy.

Cowart and Schlesselman had planned to steal weapons, attack a predominately African American school and then assault Obama at a rally, while wearing white top hats and tails, federal agent Brian Weaks said in a sworn statement.

Though not operational, Government officials said the plot raised alarms about the possibility for violent threats against Obama.

As the AP reported earlier, Weaks, told a Memphis court last month, after the arrests, that the pair had met over the Internet through a mutual friend and soon began talking about murder.

The men had discussed "going on a 'killing spree' that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans," Weaks said.