A Neo-Nazi leader has been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted in a plot to intimidate Jewish people and journalists.
Kaleb Cole, 25, who formerly led the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was convicted in September of conspiracy, sending threatening communications through the mail, and interfering with federally protected activity according to the Justice Department.
A statement from the Justice Department said that the group “focused primarily on those who are Jewish or journalists of color”.
Cameron Shea, 25, another leader in Atomwaffen Division, was also sentenced to three years in prison in August.
The Justice Department said that the plot involved sending posters reading: “You have been visited by your local Nazis” to individuals. According to NBC News, one of the posts was glued to the window of an editor for a Jewish publication.
US Attorney Nick Brown said that the ruling should tell “Mr. Cole and his co-conspirators” that “hate has no place here”.
Two other individuals were also sentenced as part of the scheme after they pleaded guilty. They have since renounced their Neo-Nazi ideologies.
All four were arrested after being charged in a “swatting” incident in 2020.
The group was accused of making hoax phone calls to police with the intention of triggering a heavily armed response to a home. The practice, called swatting, has resulted in unintentional deaths in the past when police, operating on intentionally wrong information, descend on a house expecting to encounter dangerous resistance.
The group targeted former Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen as well as a prominent news organization.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Atomwaffen Division is a group of terror cells that seek civilizational collapse, with an ideology that can be described as “accelerationists”.
Accelerationists generally believe that the modern order cannot be saved, and thus seek a rebuilding of society by first accelerating its demise. Groups like Atomwaffen Division seek to bring about these changes through violence and acts of depravity.
The SPLC claims the group’s strategies can be traced back to “The Order, the violent and murderous white supremacist terror cell led by Robert Jay Mathews from 1983-84”.
Both the UK and Canada recognize Atomwaffen Division as a terrorist group.
According to the court record, Cole never expressed any remorse for his actions or affiliation with Neo-Nazis and hate ideology.