Kaleb James Cole: Guns seized from suspected neo-Nazi leader over ‘race war’ fears

Zamira Rahim
Officers seized several firearms and gun parts during the raid: Seattle City Attorney

Police officers have seized a haul of guns from the suspected leader of an American neo-Nazi group thought to be preparing for a “race war”, according to court documents.

Detectives confiscated five rifles, three pistols and other gun components from Kaleb James Cole, a 24-year-old who has admitted being a member of the Atomwaffen Division.

The neo-Nazi group believes that “violence, depravity and degeneracy” should be used for “racial cleansing” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC describes the organisation as a “series of terror cells”.

Mr Cole has not been charged with any crime.

“This is a hate-filled human being, but unfortunately one who possesses really alarming numbers of weapons,” said Pete Holmes, the Seattle City Attorney.

Authorities seized the guns under a Washington state “red flag” law, which allows family members or police officers to remove weapons from people thought to be dangerous, according to NBC News.

Prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Mr Cole, invoking the law and requesting an “extreme risk protection order”.

“It appears that [Kaleb James Cole] has gone from espousing hate to now taking active steps or preparation for an impending ‘race war,’” Seattle police said in its petition requesting the court order.

The 24-year-old was stopped in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in December 2018 after a 25-day trip in eastern Europe.

He was questioned by border patrol officials and allegedly admitted “that he shares a fascist ideology, ‘strong dominate the weak’” Customs and Border Protection said in court documents.

The report said Mr Cole told officials that he owned guns but discouraged his members from committing violent acts.

But Seattle police said they believed the 24-year-old had participated in recent firearms training.

Officials also claim that he helped organise “hate camps”.

“It wasn’t anything super-secret that we had to tell the judge,” said Dan Satterberg, a prosecutor, according to KING of Seattle.

“It was just: ‘here’s what this guy’s about, he’s leading other people in practicing and informing a potentially violent cell that would act on their white supremacist views

“So, that was enough to convince this judge that at least temporarily – let’s take a time out. Let’s take these guns out and see what we’ve got here,” he said. “It isn’t a crime, he’s not being charged, he’s not in jail ... it is a way to slow things down.”