Leader of Neo-Nazi group sentenced for plot targeting journalist and advocates

Kaleb Cole, 25, a leader of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced Tuesday in Seattle to seven years in prison for his role in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists — including including TV journalist and Edmonds resident Chris Ingalls — and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.

At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said, “We cannot tolerate his threats to silence others…  To function as a democratic society, we need reliable and truthful journalists.”

In September 2021, a jury in the Western District of Washington convicted Cole of one count of interfering with a federally protected activity because of religion, three counts of mailing threatening communications, and one count of conspiring with other Atomwaffen members to commit three offenses against the United States––interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, mailing threatening communications, and cyberstalking.

“Kaleb Cole helped lead a violent, nationwide neo-Nazi group. He repeatedly promoted violence, stockpiled weapons, and organized ‘hate camps,’” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Today the community and those Mr. Cole and his co-conspirators targeted stand-up to say hate has no place here.  He tried to intimidate journalists and advocates with hate-filled and threatening posters, tried to amplify their fear.  Instead, they faced him in court and their courage has resulted in the federal prison sentence imposed today.”

Evidence introduced at trial showed that Cole and other members of Atomwaffen plotted to intimidate journalists and others by mailing threatening posters or gluing the posters to victims’ homes. Among them was Ingalls, who had reported on Atomwaffen. (See more in our earlier story here.) The group focused primarily on those who are Jewish or journalists of color. Cole created the posters, which warned the recipients that “you have been visited by your local Nazis.” The posters contained threatening images, such as a hooded figure preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail at a house. The threatening posters were delivered to homes in late January 2020.

At trial, the victims described how receiving the posters impacted them. Some moved from their homes for a time or installed security systems. One purchased a firearm and took a firearms safety class. Another started opening her mailbox with a stick due to fear of what might be inside. One left her job as a journalist.

“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.” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The defendant led a multi-state plot by a neo-Nazi group to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who were doing important work to expose anti-Semitism around the country. The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute these hateful acts.”

“The defendant sought to intimidate journalists and advocates working to expose anti-Semitism, but that effort failed,” said Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “Cole’s intended victims fought back but not with threats of violence; they fought back in a court of law. The FBI will continue to do our part by aggressively investigating cases involving threats or acts of violence.”

Three other co-conspirators––Cameron Shea, Johnny Roman Garza, and Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe––previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

 

6 Replies to “Leader of Neo-Nazi group sentenced for plot targeting journalist and advocates”

  1. Just bring up Palestine and Israel with someone educated enough. I also see a lot of anti-semitism with college grads. There’s no place for it.

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  2. Hmm? How much education is enough? Once you determine that a person has enough education, what happens when you bring up Palestine and Isreal? I am keen to find out, Matt. My exposure to the views of college graduates is limited to some relatives and their friends, a small group from whom I have heard nothing of an anti-semitic nature. A few have occasionally expressed some negative views about Isreali governmental actions, which I did not believe were anti-semitic in nature.
    We agree. There is no place for hate against Jews.

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    1. Mike, antisemitism is vogue on campuses. I’m not imagining what I’m saying is not well known.
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/21/us-campuses-sraeli-palestinian-conflict-universities

      When I was in school, student groups like Amnesty International would fight for gay rights, another example. Now student groups are mum on countries that would push Matthew Shepard off a building given a chance. I’m just trying to say. There’s a lot of antisemitism specifically against the state of Israel that gets a pass, and the more educated and more democratic someone is, the more likely these views are cultivated. There’s no place for it.

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  3. I am astonished that you can say that “antisemitism is vogue on campuses” and site The Guardian article in the same comment. Did you read the article? It makes a strong argument which refutes your statement!
    On an entirely different topic, I have no idea what you are trying to say about Amnesty International, gay rights, or Matthew Shepard. Furthermore, it is entirely possible to be anti-Isreali goveenment without being antisemitic. It is in fact true that many of the recent Isreali parliaments have been minority governments, which means that they were not supported by a majority of Isrealis. I find it quite common that people make a distinction between what they think of a people, society or culture and the policies of the government. For example a person can like Americans while disliking the policies of the US government.

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    1. Google it Mike. Yes, in fact, the most antisemitic instructions are colleges. Please search “anti isreal sentement on college campuses”. I work with new kids out of school and some of their beliefs are eyebrow raising in this regard. We both agree it’s bad, you’re upset I’m pointing out its being taught in schools. Why? Chill.

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  4. Here we are on a foggy Sunday morning witnessing that anti-semitism is real after another attack on a synagogue. You and I, Matt, agree that this expression of hate is unacceptable. At present we know little about the attacker. I believe we can both say there is no excuse for his behavior.
    You asked me why I’m upset that you are pointing out that “its” being taught in schools. What do you mean by “it”? Do you mean the teaching of anti-semitism in universities and colleges? Some students attending university having anti-semitic views is not the same as universities teaching courses espousing anti-semitism. The existence of the former is most unfortunate. We need to work against it. Regarding the latter, I disagree that it exists and would need to see proof otherwise. I do not believe that the proof can be found on Google.
    What I object to most is you making false statements. It is foolhardy to draw conclusions based on Google. Of course you will find information about anti-Isreal sentiment on college campuses if you search Google with that request. You will find information about the earth being flat if you Google “the earth is flat”. This does not mean it is true. Working with new kids out of school is no great survey either. And then there is the fact that you reference material without actually reading or understanding it. In the end you hinder efforts to understand and root out anti-semitism.
    Now it is time to move on. I am pleased that Kaleb Cole is punished for his actions.

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