Neo-Nazi leader convicted on five charges for plot to intimidate journalists
A neo-Nazi leader was convicted of five federal charges Wednesday night over a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists, the Department of Justice announced in a release.
Kaleb Cole, the leader of the hate group “Atomwaffen” in Washington state, was behind threats that targeted associates of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in addition to members of the media. Specifically, they focused on people who were Jewish or journalists of color.
After 90 minutes of jury deliberation following a two-day trial, Cole was convicted of conspiracy, three counts of mailing threatening communications and one count of interfering with a 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 gluing them to victims’ homes that read “You have been visited by your local Nazis” and “Death to Pigs,” along with threatening images.
Among those who received the posters was a TV journalist who had reported on Atomwaffen and two people involved with the ADL in the Seattle area. A poster was also glued to a bedroom window of an editor of a Jewish lifestyle magazine in Phoenix.
“All of the images (in the posters) were selected by Kaleb Cole to send one message ‘We can get you in your home,'” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Wilkinson. “Cole wanted to terrorize them with threats of physical harm.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods echoed Wilkinson’s message, adding that Cole “was not simply sending a message of hate, he was sending a statement of terror.”
Cole’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 11.
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