DOJ: Neo-Nazi Sentenced for Plotting Against Journalists

The Department of Justice seal on a podium during a news conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, U.S.
(Image credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A Washington State man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for plotting to threaten and intimidate journalists who were trying to expose anti-semitism.

Kaleb Cole, who lead the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division, was convicted by a Washington District Court of threatening communications and conspiring with other neo-Nazis to commit "interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, mailing threatening communications and cyberstalking."

Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of DOJ's Civil Rights Division, said that Cole had led a multistate plot to threaten and intimidate journalists who were Jewish or of color by mailing posters or gluing them to the homes of the journalists. The posters featured images of a hooded figure about to throw a molotov cocktail at a house and said “you have been visited by your local Nazis.”

The journalists targeted had told at trial how the intimidation had affected them, including moving out of their house for a while, or buying a security system, buying a gun and learning how to use it, and one even quit the journalism business.

“The defendant sought to intimidate journalists and advocates working to expose anti-Semitism, but that effort failed,” said Timothy Langan, assistant director 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.” ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.