The FBI has arrested four people with ties to the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division on charges of plotting to intimidate and harass journalists, activists and others, including then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
The charges are part of a crackdown on violent white supremacists who have become emboldened by President Trump’s divisive rhetoric.
“These defendants from across the country allegedly conspired on the internet to intimidate journalists and activists with whom they disagreed,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a news release . “This is not how America works. The Department of Justice will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
The suspects are accused of conspiring to harass journalists and activists by delivering or mailing posters with swastikas, guns and Molotov cocktails to the journalists and activists.
“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington said. “As Attorney General William Barr has made clear, rooting out anti-Semitic hate and threats of violence and vigorously prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Department of Justice.”
The suspects are Cameron Brandon Shea, 24, of Redmond, Wash.; Kaleb Cole, 24, of Montgomery, Texas; Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, 20, of Spring Hill, Fla., and Johnny Roman Garza, 20, of Queen Creek, Ariz.
“Today’s announcement serves as a warning to anyone who intends to use violence as intimidation or coercion to further their ideology that the FBI remains steadfast in our commitment to protect Americans from domestic terrorism,” Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn said. “These nationwide arrests are the result of the robust partnerships among the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Tampa, Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix and we appreciate their collective efforts.”