8th June 2008
By Mike Parker
BARACK Obama is being shielded by a £50million security operation after death threats from twisted racist groups.
FBI chiefs believe at least three white supremacist organisations want to assassinate the Democrat aiming to become America’s first black president.
The Daily Star Sunday can reveal that Obama has been under round-the-clock protection from the Secret Service since May last year.
It is the biggest ever security operation surrounding a presidential candidate and is costing about £50million a year.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff ordered the move after a shock dossier revealed a “high-level risk” from ultra-right wing neo-Nazi groups.
And it is feared the risk to Obama’s life has increased since he beat Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination to run against Republican John McCain in November.
A senior FBI source confirmed that security around the 46-year-old Illinois senator has been beefed up after a series of chilling new threats.
One un-named group posted a hate-filled message on the internet which declared: “White supremacists everywhere will rejoice upon reading ‘Dead’ and ‘Obama’ in the same headline.”
Another showed Obama’s face with a sniper’s gun-sight super-imposed over it with the sinister caption: “One man, one bullet.”
Obama’s wife Michelle and their two daughters are also being shadowed by Secret Service agents.
According to the source, three groups believed to be targeting Obama are the National Socialist Vanguard, the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan.
Most dangerous of the hate-filled trio is the once-powerful Klan. The source said: “All three groups are seen as posing a threat. But the Klan, in particular, has a nucleus of supporters who are prepared to pursue violence to get their message across.”
Following the threats against Obama, Klan leaders in Kentucky and Louisiana have themselves been targeted.
The source added: “Certain characters would be making a very big mistake if they tried to follow through any of these nasty threats.”
A spokesman at Obama’s campaign HQ said: “We appreciate the efforts of various government agencies in protecting all the candidates and their families. “
Hillary Clinton formally suspended her campaign and backed Obama last night.
She said: “I have said throughout that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party’s nominee and I intend to deliver on that promise.”
Source: Daily Star