Here Are Some Attempted Assassinations On Former US President Barack Obama.

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Barack Obama assassination attempts began even before he became president, when he was still on the campaign trail. While nobody has managed to actually take a shot at President Obama directly, many people have either plotted to assassinate him, claimed they were plotting to kill him, or threatened to do so.

Any threat to kill Obama, no matter how outlandish or done in jest, is investigated by the Secret Service. Often, incidents that would be brushed off if they happened to private citizens end in jail time because they were directed at the president, who is protected by specific federal laws. These threats are taken seriously, and sometimes result in decades of prison time.

Here are the most prominent attempts to assassinate President Obama, the majority of which were defused before they were actually carried out.

• Death Threats Came Early and Often.

Photo: Fogster / Wikimedia Commons

Barack Obama was one of the earliest candidates to ever receive Secret Service protection, being given a security detail in May 2007, long before the Democratic primaries had even started. Officials declined to detail any specific incidents, only saying that candidate Obama had seen a large number of death threats.

• The Bail Bondsman Who Just Liked Guns.

Photo: Maine State Police.

Maine resident Raymond H. Geisel was charged with making threatening statements against Obama during a bail-bonds training class on July 31, 2008, in Miami. During the course, Geisel called Obama the "n word" and said, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." Police were called, and searched Geisel’s hotel room, where they found ammunition, body armor, a combat-style hatchet, tear gas, a loaded 9-mm handgun, and four loaded magazines.

Geisel said he was only using the gun for his bail-bonds course, that he was a gun collector, and that he’d been joking about the threat. In December 2009, Geisel was convicted on weapons charges and served three years of supervised probation stemming from that conviction. As part of his plea agreement, the felony charges of threatening Obama were dropped.

• The Waffle House Assassination Plot.

Photo: Scott / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina accountant Jerry Blanchard was indicted for threatening to kill candidate Obama during a July 15, 2008, breakfast at a Charlotte Waffle House campaign stop. Two different customers said Blanchard told them, "I’m worth $50 million. Obama and his wife are never going to make it to the White House. He needs to be taken out... that man will never know what hit him... I just may do that, I’ve got the money and the clout." The Secret Service questioned Blanchard, who simultaneously denied making the threats and claimed he believed Obama was the anti-Christ.

The Secret Service was called again when a hotel employee overheard Blanchard in a restroom muttering, "I'll get a sniper rifle and take care of it myself. Somebody's got to do it ... We both know Obama is the anti-Christ.” Blanchard was arrested on felony charges, and sentenced to 366 days in prison.


• The Meth-Fueled Denver Convention Plot.

Photo: Denver Police Department

Just days before the 2008 Democratic National Convention, three men traveled to Denver for the purpose of shooting Barack Obama during his acceptance speech. The three white supremacists, cousins Tharin Gartrell and Shawn Adolf, and their friend Nathan Johnson, drove a truck full of weapons and meth to a hotel, and Gartrell was soon arrested when the truck was found. Johnson and Adolf were arrested shortly thereafter.

During a televised interview, Johnson claimed Adolf was the one who planned the attack, saying he claimed that “blacks didn’t deserve to be in office.” Authorities indicted the three on drugs and weapons charges, but dropped the federal threatening charges, owing to the ineptitude of the plan.

• The Tennessee Mass Murder Plot.

Photo: Daniel Cowart / via Myspace

Tennessee white supremacists Paul Schlesselman and Daniel Cowart allegedly planned not only to assassinate Barack Obama, but to do it as the culmination of a murder spree where they’d kill 88 African Americans, 14 of whom would be beheaded (both numbers are significant digits in the white power movement).

Planning to fund their mayhem by robbing gun stores and private homes, the two men kicked off their revolution by shooting at an empty church in Brownsville, TN. They were arrested in October 2008 after bragging to their appalled friends about what they’d done. Both men pleaded guilty to various federal firearms and assault charges, and were given lengthy prison terms.

• The Marine Corp Who Plotted to Kill Obama on Inauguration Day.

Photo: Onslow County Sheriff's Office

Marine Lance Cpl. Kody Brittingham was stationed at Camp Lejuene, NC when he was arrested in late 2008 on an armed robbery charge. As a result, he was separated from the service. But when Brittingham’s barracks were searched, police also turned up a journal containing white supremacist material, Google searches for "Inauguration Day," and a written out plan to kill Obama - including a map of the Capitol.

Brittingham pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 100 months in prison for the armed robbery and the assassination plan.

• The Woman Planning to Kill the First Family on Vacation.

Photo: United States Secret Service.

Kristy Lee Roshia first mailed the Boston office of the Secret Service a deranged love note, then called them on November 10, 2009, and told them she planned to "blow away" First Lady Michelle Obama while the family vacationed in Honolulu, HI. Roshia told authorities she knew "the exact location" the Obama family would be staying, and provided information that was consistent with the itinerary of the First Family.

The Secret Service believed Roshia had observed agents near Kailua Beach, where the Obamas had previously rented a house. She went to Hawaii claiming she was there to protect the President and was arrested just two miles from their house. Roshia, who had previously threatened President Bush, was charged with threatening a family member of the president, as well as assaulting a federal agent while being arrested. She was held for medical competency testing, then seemed to drop off the map.

• The Irish Muslim Who Was Too Famous to Kill Obama.

Photo: YouTube

In May 2011, infamous Irish Islamist militant Khalid Kelly was arrested for threatening to assassinate Barack Obama during the president's trip to Ireland that month. In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Kelly claimed that al-Qaeda was likely to kill Obama, and that he would like to do it himself, but was too well-known. He told the paper "Personally I would feel happy if Obama was killed. How could I not feel happy when a big enemy of Islam is gone?"

Irish special police arrested Kelly right after the interview was released, and held him for three days before releasing him. President Obama's Ireland trip passed with no threats on his life.

• The White House Drive-By Plot.

Photo: US Marshals Service.

On November 11, 2011, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez sprayed semi-automatic rifle fire from his car parked on Constitution Avenue near the White House. At least seven rounds struck the White House itself, though no one was injured, and the President wasn’t there at the time of the shooting.

Hernandez was arrested five days later in a hotel in Indiana, PA, and both his writings and testimony showed that he believed President Obama was the anti-Christ and would usher in the end of the world. In September 2013, Hernandez pleaded guilty to destruction of property and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and the charge of attempting to assassinate the President was dropped. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $100,000 to repair the White House.

• The Anarchist Militia Plot.

Photo: Georgia State Police.

In 2012, four U.S. Army soldiers in Georgia were indicted, with authorities claiming that they had formed a paramilitary anarchist militia called FEAR (Forever Enduring, Always Ready) and planned to overthrow the federal government by killing the president. The four men were Private Isaac Aguigui, Private First Class Michael Burnett, Sergeant Anthony Peden, and Private Christopher Salmon. The group was alleged to have purchased $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials, conspired to take over Fort Stewart, blowup targets across the country, and finish things off by killing President Obama.

Sadly, while most of these plots end harmlessly, this one took multiple lives: those of former soldier Michael Roark and his teenage girlfriend Tiffany York, who were killed by the group because they knew of the militia’s plans. Burnett eventually turned on his comrades and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for testifying against the others. All three pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, and were sentenced to life in prison. A number of other FEAR members were arrested in connection with the plot, as was Salmon’s wife.

• The Denver Man Who Wanted to Kill Kids and the President.

Photo: Mitchell Kusick / via Facebook.

In October 2012, Mitchell Kusick was arrested by the Secret Service at his parents' suburban Denver, CO home after his therapist told police that he wanted to kill the President with a shotgun during an upcoming campaign stop in Boulder, as well as shoot children at a local school. Kusick was apparently obsessed with snipers in general, and both the Columbine shootings and the Aurora movie theater massacre in particular.

After some discussion about whether Kusick truly was a risk to the community, or suffering from severe mental issues, Kusick pleaded guilty and served nine months in federal prison.

• The Ku Klux Klan Death Ray Plot.

Photo: FBI.

In 2013, two men from upstate New York were arrested after building a radiation-spewing "death ray" and plotting to use it in a killing spree against President Obama, Muslims, and other perceived enemies of the United States and Israel. Glenn Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight were taken into custody by the FBI after a 15-month operation that had deep cover agents posing as co-conspirators. A court affidavit described the “death ray device”as "a mobile, remotely operated, radiation emitting device capable of killing human targets silently and from a distance with lethal doses of radiation." Crawford, who designed it, referred to the truck-mounted x-ray device as “Hiroshima on a light switch.”

Crawford, an electrical engineer who was affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, had allegedly contacted multiple Jewish organizations and asked for their assistance with technology that could be used against Israel's enemies, including local mosques and an Islamic school. At the same time, he also plotted to kill President Obama with the device. The undercover agents rendered the weapon inoperable to eliminate potential danger to the public, and police moved in on the pair. Feight was found guilty of various felonies, and given 97 months in prison, while Crawford is awaiting trial.

• The Moron Who Put His Threat to Kill the President on Craigslist.

Photo: Calton / Wikimedia Commons.

Texan Brian Dean Miller was really, really unhappy with Barack Obama over the Affordable Care Act. So he threatened to eliminate the President - publicly. On Craiglist. In March 2010, Miller posted a long rant on the website, entitled "Obama Must Die" in which he stated, among other things, "people, the time has come for revolution. It is time for Obama to die. I am dedicating my life to the death of Obama and every employee of the federal government. As I promised in a previous post, if the health care reform bill passed I would become a terrorist. Today I become a terrorist." He then posted a second rant, inviting readers to call the Secret Service, and reiterating his threat to kill the president and "destroy the government."

Miller was indeed brought to the attention of the Secret Service, who traced the post to his mom's house, where he was living. Miller pleaded guilty and was given 27 months in prison for his threats.

• The Actress Who Tried to Kill the President with Ricin.

Photo: FBI

Actress Shannon Richardson mailed a ricin-laced letter to President Obama some time in 2013, which contained a threat to kill anyone attempting to take away the sender's guns or impair their "constitutional God given" right to bear arms. A similar letter was sent to NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as a third to an anti-gun organization. She then called the police and accused her estranged husband of sending the letters.

As it turned out, Richardson, who was pregnant with her sixth child at the time, sent the letters herself to incriminate her soon-to-be-ex and receive a more favorable divorce settlement. She admitted sending them, but first claimed that her husband made her do it. The FBI tracked Richardson down using a previously unknown mail tracking system, and she eventually pleaded guilty, getting an 18-year prison term.

• The Guy Who Jumped the White House Fence.

Photo: US Secret Service.

The Secret Service came under major scrutiny in September 2014, after wounded Iraq War veteran Omar J. Gonzalez jumped over the White House's security fence and entered the building's front door. He ran through the North Poritco and made it all the way to the East Wing before being tackled. The First Family wasn't home, and Gonzalez was stopped by a security officer who was going off shift. Gonzalez was carrying a small knife, but claimed he wasn't breaking into the White House to kill Obama, but to warn him about "the atmosphere collapsing."

Gonzalez was found to be suffering from PTSD, and had become obsessed with guns, carrying one at all times. A search of his car found two hatchets, a machete, and 800 rounds of ammo. He pleaded guilty to several felonies, as well as several other indictments from other incidents. He was given a sentence of 18 months in prison and forbidden from owning guns, knives, or swords.

• The Man Who Threatened President Obama in a Poem.

Photo: Johnny Logan Spencer / via Facebook.

Kentucky man Johnny Logan Spencer wrote a violent, racist poem called "The Sniper" and posted it on white supremacist website New Saxon in both 2007 and 2009. The poem luridly described Barack Obama's murder by a rifle-armed shooter - and thus came to the attention of the Secret Service. Spencer was arrested, and claimed at first that the poem was simply an artistic manner of dealing with his mother's death. He then changed his mind and pleaded guilty, being given a 33-month prison term.

• The Bangladeshi Who Planned Holy War.

Photo: FBI.

Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested by the FBI in 2012 after authorities tracked his plan to wage holy war against the US. Among the items on his jihad to-do list were kill President Obama and blow up the Federal Reserve, all in the name of avenging fallen al-Qaeda leaders.

He never got close to the President, but did park a van full of explosives outside the Manhattan office of the Fed. Fortunately, the FBI had infiltrated the terror cell he'd put together, and replaced the explosives in the van with fakes. Nafis was taken into custody and pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He was given 30 years in prison.

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