White supremacist group leader pleads guilty to death threats against journalist in Brooklyn federal court
The Eastern District federal courthouse in Brooklyn was home to a significant blow to domestic terrorism and hate crimes on Wednesday, as Nicholas Welker, also known as “King ov Wrath,” leader of the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD), pleaded guilty to conspiring to make interstate death threats against a Brooklyn-based journalist.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen oversaw the proceedings. Welker faces up to five years in prison at sentencing.
The plea stems from a chilling case where Welker, leading an international extremist group known for racially motivated violence, posted ominous threats against a journalist who reported on the FKD’s activities. The threats, both graphic and explicit, were intended to stymie the journalist’s ongoing investigation into the hate group’s operations.
Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James Smith, assistant director-in-charge, FBI New York Field Office, announced the guilty plea.
“Welker and his hate group threatened a journalist to prevent reporting on the white supremacist group that Welker led. Today’s guilty plea represents a victory for freedom of the press,” said U.S. Attorney Peace.
“This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that those who espouse hateful, extremist ideologies, like Welker, cannot silence First Amendment-protected activity through threats of violence and will be met with the full force of the law.”
The FKD, known for its heinous ideology, openly encourages violence against racial minorities, the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities, and critical institutions, including the government and the press. Welker’s threats, including a haunting image of the journalist marked with the label “Race Traitor,” were intended to instill fear and halt the exposure of FKD’s activities.
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