Neo-Nazi sentenced to prison for intimidating journalists opposed to antisemitism

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division called Kaleb Cole’s activities “antithetical to American values.”

By Algemeiner Staff

A member of a neo-Nazi group has been sentenced to prison for a campaign to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists opposed to antisemitism, the U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Kaleb Cole, 25, was sentenced to 84 months in jail for interfering with a federally protected activity on the basis of religion, mailing threatening communications, and conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States.

Cole and other members of a neo-Nazi group called the Atomwaffen Division sent threatening materials during Jan. 2020 to Jewish journalists and journalists of color, among others. The materials included posters showing images such as a hooded figure about to throw a Molotov cocktail at a house with the text “you have been visited by your local Nazis.”

Three other members of Atomwaffen have already been convicted and sentenced in the case.

At Cole’s trial, victims spoke of various security measures they took in response, including leaving their homes, installing security systems, purchasing weapons, and quitting their jobs.

Miri Cypers, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League Pacific Northwest, was among those threatened by Cole, and read a victim impact statement Tuesday at his sentencing.

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“I saw a terrifying image of a skeleton throwing a Molotov cocktail inside my home with the intent to burn it to the ground. The letter said my first and last name and said the sender’s ‘patience had its limits’ and I had been visited by my local neo-Nazis. This felt deeply personal. As a Jewish leader with family members who survived the Holocaust, I know what it meant to be visited by your local Nazis,” she said.

“Although this threat instilled me with fear, it will not silence me. I will continue to shine a bright light on hate and speak out against the normalization of threats and violence,” Cypers continued.

On Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division called Cole’s activities “antithetical to American values.”

Cole “repeatedly promoted violence, stockpiled weapons, and organized ‘hate camps,’” added U.S. Attorney Nick Brown for the Western District of Washington. “Today the community and those Mr. Cole and his co-conspirators targeted stand up to say hate has no place here.”