TAMPA (WFLA) — The United States Department of Justice arrested four “violent extremists” in the Atomwaffen group accused of threatening and intimidating journalists and activists around the country.
The DOJ said the Atomwaffen group is accused of using an encrypted online chat room to identify journalists and others they wanted to intimidate, focusing mainly on those who are Jewish or journalists of color.
Among the individuals arrested includes a 20-year-old Spring Hill man, Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe.
According to the report, defendants Kaleb Cole, 24, and Cameron Brandon Shea, 24, would create posters with Nazi symbols, guns, Molotov cocktails, and threatening language and deliver them to Atomwaffen members electronically for them to print and deliver to journalists or activists the group was targeting.
In Tampa, the Parker-Dipeppe and the group targeted a journalist, but reportedly delivered the poster to the wrong address.
In the Seattle area, the posters were mailed to a TV journalist who had reported on the Atomwaffen and to two individuals associated with the Anti-Defamation League. In Phoenix, the poster was delivered to a magazine journalist.
“The FBI recognizes all citizen’s First Amendment-protected rights,” Raymond Duda, Special Agent in Charge at FBI Seattle said. “However the subjects arrested today crossed the line from protected ideas and speech to action in order to intimidate and coerce individuals who they perceived as a threat to their ideology of hate.”
The fourth suspect listed as a defendant is 20-year-old Johnny Roman Garza of Arizona.
The case is under investigation.