Prison sentence for ex-leader of US neo-Nazi group

A neo-Nazi protest in the US state of Georgia in April 2018
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The former leader of a US neo-Nazi group was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Tuesday for waging a campaign to intimidate journalists and racial and religious minorities.

John Cameron Denton, 27, of Montgomery, Texas, was convicted of carrying out dozens of "swatting" attacks across the United States between October 2018 and February 2019.

"Swatting" involves calling emergency services to report bomb threats, hostage-takings or other violent activity, forcing police SWAT teams to respond.

"Denton's swatting activities were not harmless pranks; he carefully chose his targets to antagonize and harass religious and racial communities, journalists, and others against whom he held a bias or grievance," FBI special agent Timothy Thibault said in a statement.

Denton's "swatting" targets included journalists, a Virginia university, a former US cabinet member, a historic African-American church and an Islamic Center among others.

The former leader of the Atomwaffen Division in Texas, Denton conducted "swatting" attacks on at least 134 different locations in the United States, according to the Justice Department.

Among the targets was the New York city office of the investigative news outlet ProPublica, which had reported on Denton's activities in the Atomwaffen Division, a violent extremist group with cells in multiple US states.

Four other Atomwaffen members were arrested earlier this year for threatening journalists and activists campaigning against anti-Semitism and racism.