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Kaleb Cole

25-year-old Kaleb Cole is the leader of the Washington chapter of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, a dangerous neo-Nazi group that grew out of a white supremacist forum called Iron March.

Atomwaffen Division , meaning “nuclear weapons” in German, is a neo-Nazi terrorist network. Originally based in the Southern United States, it has expanded across the United States has expanded into the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the Baltic states and other European countries. The group is designated as a terrorist group by multiple governments, including the United Kingdom, and Canada. Members of the Atomwaffen Division have been held responsible for a number of murders, planned terrorist attacks, and other criminal actions.

In February 2020, Cole was arrested in Montgomery, Texas, and charged with a conspiracy for sending threatening mail and cyberstalking Jewish and Black targets.

Cole’s history of hate stretches for over a decade. In 2012, he came to the attention of the authorities in Washington state after harassing a Jewish grocery store owner by waving a Nazi flag outside the business. After searching his home, police confirmed Cole was in possession of numerous white supremacist and neo nazi relics.

In January 2018, Cole helped organize Atomwaffen Division’s three-day Hate Camp – “Death Valley Hate Camp” in Nevada. At least 10 members from different states attended the event. According to reports, Cole told attendees “Bring your uniform, rifle/sidearm, and whatever camping gear you need.”

Members of the Atomwaffen Division participating in shooting, 2018

At the end of 2018, Cole embarked on a 25-day trip throughout Eastern Europe where he claimed to visit historical sites. Upon his arrival to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, federal officials questioned him and searched his luggage, finding the trefoil flag of a neo-Nazi hate group and photos of Atomwaffen Division members performing the Nazi salute in front of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Although Cole identified himself as a member of the Atomwaffen Division, authorities failed to charge him that day.

In 2019, Seattle authorities filed a petition to seize a cache of weapons from Cole according to the red-flag law. Cole did not show up for the hearing and prosecutors charged him with unlawful possession of a firearm. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but authorities could not find him.

The cache of weapons authorities found in the home of Kaleb Cole, 2019

Most recently, Cole and Cameron Shea, an alleged high-ranking recruiter for Atomwaffen Division’s Washington chapter, were the primary organizers of an operation they called ‘Erste Saule’ (translated to ‘first pillar’ in German). Shea described the operation as a way to target journalists’ homes and media buildings to make their victims feel “terrorized.” According to authorities, Cole suggested buying rag dolls and sticking knives through their heads, and leaving them at the locations of their targets.

In carrying out ‘Operation Erste Saule’ Cole created a variety of posters that included offensive imagery and threatening language that was to be delivered or mailed to their targets. Imagery included Nazi symbols and masked figures with guns and Molotov cocktails. The targets were chosen in retaliation for reporting and exposing information on Atomwaffen Division.

Thankfully, in February 2020 Federal authorities arrested Cole and three other members of the Atomwaffen Division. Kaleb Cole was charged with conspiracy to mail threatening communications and commit cyberstalking. In September 2021, Cole was found guilty and earlier this week he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Kaleb Cole’s hateful vitriol started online and escalated over the years. He is a perfect example of why it’s crucial to report any instances of hate on social media and anywhere you may witness it.

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