On Oct. 17, Seattle’s task force, the Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit, seized multiple military-grade weapons from the home of neo-Nazi leader, Kaleb Cole in Snohomish, Washington. This as a result of ERPO, the Extreme Risk Protection Order-a Red Flag law, the judge issued an order forcing Cole to hand over his firearms. Happening in Washington State, this case is believed to be the first of its kind.
Causing the act to be used for the first time, prosecutors and the FBI persuaded the judge to believe in the possible ill intentions from Cole: “Kaleb Cole poses a serious threat to public safety by having access and possession to firearms and a concealed pistol license.” Claimed by authorities, Cole has been gathering a plentiful collection of firearms and training with the weapons in western Washington for violent purposes.
Records filed in King County court show officers from Arlington as well as Seattle’s police departments the collection of Cole’s weapons: five military-style rifles, three pistols, and other gun parts that can create machine guns.
Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes, claimed that the actions taken may have most definitely “prevented a massacre.”
The extremist group Cole is a part of is titled, The Atomwaffen Division, which is present in Washington State. It is a white supremacist group that takes after the likes of Adolf Hitler and American criminal, Charles Manson. Although the group takes inspiration from leaders of mass murders in an attempt to start a race war, its members have reportedly claimed that they will not take part in a war even though they are arming themselves in preparation.
In multiple online videos, members from the group can be seen firing weapons and training for room breaches in an abandoned cement plant called “devil’s tower.” In one video, members of the group shout “race war now” as they fire weapons. In another video, combat training, as well as the burning of multiple flags, can be seen. These sessions where the group gets together are called “hate camps.” Authorities say Cole has been purchasing weapons, organizing hate camps, and escalating threats about an upcoming war.
“The only right they deserve is the right of lead,” one member claims in a video.
In other states, members from Atomwaffen have been charged with five murders.
Upon re-entering the U.S. after a trip to honor some of World War II’s most horrific scenes in Eastern Europe, Cole’s cell phone photos had been confiscated by Customs and Border Patrol. In the photos, Cole is posing in front of the infamous Nazi death camp, Auschwitz; another shows Cole holding up the Atomwaffen flag in a different location; other photos showcase Cole holding weapons.
A report from Border Patrol states, “Cole has been permanently banned from entry into Canada as a result of his [admitted] membership/affiliation with the Atomwaffen Division.”
Looking to hear from Cole himself, KING 5 News visited the home of Cole’s parents’ in Arlington, located in the north of Snohomish County. When the KING 5 crew approached the home, they were met with a short “no comment” from a woman who quickly closed the door. At the moment, KING 5 has been unsuccessful at reaching Cole for a comment.
Operated by Seattle City Attorneys, King County Prosecutors, and Seattle police, the Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit’s enactment of ERPO is the first occurrence in Washington State. According to KING 5, the unit has seized over 1,100 firearms since 2017.
“We can actually prevent some of these massacres,” said Holmes.
Cole has not been charged with any crimes but will lose the possession of his weapons under the ERPO. The order where Cole can’t possess any firearms is in effect for one year.