Neo-Nazi leader convicted of five counts of plot to intimidate journalists

A neo-Nazi leader was found guilty on five federal counts Wednesday night for a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists, the Department of Justice (DOJ). announced in a statement.

Kaleb Cole, the leader of a Washington state hate group “Atomwaffen,” was behind the threats that targeted associates of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as well as members of the media. Specifically, they targeted people who were Jewish or journalists of color.

After 90 minutes of jury deliberation after a two-day trial, Cole was convicted of conspiracy, three counts of sending threatening communications and one count of interfering with federally protected activity. Three other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, including Cameron Shea, who was sentenced to three years in prison.

Among the tactics Cole used was sending posters or posting them to victims’ homes that read, “You have been visited by the local Nazis” and “Death to the pigs” along with threatening images.

Among those who received the posters were a television journalist who had reported on Atomwaffen and two people involved with the ADL in the Seattle area. A poster was also taped to the bedroom window of an editor of a Jewish lifestyle magazine in Phoenix.

“All of the images (on the posters) were selected by Kaleb Cole to send a ‘We can take him home’ message,” said Assistant United States Attorney Seth Wilkinson. “Cole wanted to terrorize them with threats of physical harm.”

Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods echoed Wilkinson’s message, adding that Cole “was not just sending a hate message, he was sending a statement of terror.”

Cole’s sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2022.

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