Four ‘racially motivated violent extremists’ arrested on federal charges

VIDEO: Four 'racially motivated violent extremists' arrested on federal charges

SEATTLE — Four people described by federal authorities as “racially motivated violent extremists” from across the country were arrested and charged in federal court in Seattle in a conspiracy to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists, U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington announced Wednesday.

The four include a Redmond man, 24-year-old Cameron Brandon Shea. The other three were identified as Kaleb Cole of Montgomery, Texas, Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe of Spring Hill, Florida, and Johnny Roman Garza of Queen Creek, Arizona.

According to the criminal complaint, the four used an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and others they wanted to intimidate, focusing primarily on those who are Jewish or people of color.

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Court documents said Cole and Shea created posters that included Nazi symbols, masked figures with guns, Molotov cocktails and threatening language.

The posters were then sent to Atomwaffen Division members electronically, who then printed and delivered or mailed the posters to the people the group was targeting, the complaint said.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Atomwaffen Division “is a small neo-Nazi group whose members are preparing for a race war to combat what they consider the cultural and racial displacement of the white race."

In the Seattle area, the posters were mailed to a TV journalist who had reported on Atomwaffen and to two people associated with the Anti-Defamation League.

Court documents said the group also targeted journalists in Tampa and Phoenix.

“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” said Moran.

Shea will make his first appearance at the federal courthouse in Seattle at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Those arrested in other districts will appear in federal court in those districts and then later appear in Seattle.

“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 with the Seattle Police Department,” said Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn.

Watch a full news conference of the announcement of the arrests below: