A plot to kill Barack Obama and 101 other black Americans was foiled yesterday.
Federal agents said two neo-Nazis were being held over a plan to rob a gun store and target a predominantly black high school in Tennessee.
The pair intended to shoot 88 African-Americans and decapitate another 14, said Jim Cavanaugh, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
Obama was their final target, Cavanaugh added. 'They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Senator Obama.
Neo-Nazis: Daniel Cowart (left) and Paul Schlesselman, seen posing with guns on their Myspace pages, have been charged over a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and 101 other black Americans
'They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.'
The planned bloodbath was unveiled in court records unsealed last night.
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee, and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Arkansas, have been charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms and threatening a candidate for president.
More charges are possible, Mr Cavanaugh added.
Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name. Officers seized a rifle, a sawn- off shotgun and three pistols from the pair who, officials said, were preparing to steal more firearms.
Anti-racism campaigners said the number 88 is used by white supremacists as an abbreviation for Heil Hitler as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
The figure 14 represents a slogan consisting of that many words, coined by American white supremacist leader David Lane, who is serving a 190-year jail sentence.
The plot was similar to one uncovered during the Democratic party convention in Denver last month. Then, three white supremacists were arrested after being found with a sniper rifle and being high on drugs.
Later FBI agents and the Secret Service decided not to charge them after coming to the conclusion they did not pose a real threat.
Plot: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was on the hit list of 102 black Americans to be killed in a murder spree in Tennessee
The latest plot came to light with just a week to go in the race to be the next President of the United States.
Senator Obama fiercely criticised Republican candidate John McCain in a 'closing argument' as little more than a clone of George Bush. Both candidates were in Ohio, seen as a crucial state in the election next Tuesday.
Senator McCain was repeating his charge that Mr Obama was a tax-and-spend liberal.
But having said over the weekend that he and President Bush, as fellow Republicans, share some economic philosophies, Mr McCain was accused of doing a U-turn yesterday.
'We (Obama and McCain) both disagree with President Bush on economic policies. My approach is to get spending under control,' Mr McCain said.
He added that the difference was that: 'He (Obama) thinks taxes have been too low and I think that spending has been too high.'
Mr Obama said: 'After 21 months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy.'
He claimed that 'the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years'.