Politics - News Analysis

Texas Neo-Nazi Leader Sentenced to 7 Yeas In Prison for Threatening Jews and Journalists

After threatening journalists and other activists who were working to expose antisemitism, the leader of a Neo-Nazi group was arrested and charged with seven years in prison. A 25-year old man from Washington State named Kaleb Cole, his actions have led to a jury finding him guilty on several counts, including conspiracy, threatening communications, and interfering with federally protected activity.

The group that Cole participated in goes by the name of Atomwaffen Division, and has been declared a “terroristic” hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC has explained that the goal of this organization is to collapse civilization, and rebuild it as a whites-only ethnostate. They went about this goal by intimidating journalists and activists, the majority of whom are jewish or non-white, usually by mailing them threatening letters or photos or even hanging posters directly on their doors.

Victims who were targeted by this hate group have spoken out about the consequences to their personal lives, which go as far as moving their homes or quitting their jobs, and some even purchased weapons for personal safety. During Cole’s trial, a statement was released by Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke: “Threats motivated by religious intolerance are antithetical to American values, even more so when they aim to intimidate journalists and others who are working to expose bigotry in our society.”

Cole’s punishment could potentially be increased in the near future as he is facing a separate charge for unlawful possession of a firearm from an incident that occurred in Texas last year. Before that, he was found an imminent threat to public safety by the Seattle police and five assault-style rifles were taken from his home because of a “red flag” extreme risk protection order.

Veronica O'Brien
meet the author

Veronica O'Brien is a Massachusetts-based freelance writer. She graduated from Framingham State University with a B.A. in English.

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