The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a founder of the violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, who accused him of making inter-state threats during a “swat campaign”. John Cameron Denton is said to have joined a group of racists who have made hoax calls against a university, a church, and many other goals. He’s also described as leader of Atomwaffen ProPublica – of which Denton is accused of slap in retaliation.
Denton – known online as ‘Rape’ or ‘Tormenter’ – is the second known member of the Swat. According to a statement from the FBI, Denton actively participated in campaigns alongside John William Kirby Kelley, who was arrested earlier this year. A third member works with state law enforcement, but their name has not been disclosed and the FBI describes two other leaders as foreigners living outside the US.
The FBI loosely connected Kelley to Atomwaffen and noticed ubiquitous racist conversations in the IRC channel he visited. This week’s arrest makes the connection much clearer. The statement claims that Denton came to the channel in 2018 and then personally requested at least two swat attempts: one against ProPublica, who openly revealed the role of Denton in Atomwaffen, and one against an investigative journalist who works with the outlet. According to another chat member, Denton expressed “frustration about how neo-Nazis were portrayed” by the media.
Chat messages suggest that other members were apparently aware of Denton’s identity, and IRC logs contain his home IP address. In January Denton also unknowingly met an FBI agent and admitted that he had been involved in the slap campaign. He told the agent that “robbery” for swat would be good for Atomwaffen – because “the joke would be seen as a top crime.” Now he faces a maximum of five years in prison.
The police and the FBI have been working hard in recent months against white supremacist terrorism. Another Atomwaffen member pleaded guilty possess illegal firearms this month and in January, law enforcement arrested six members of ‘the base’, three of whom were accused of a detailed plot to assassinate two anti-fascist activists. Another member of the Atomwaffen division was charged in 2018 kill a former classmate.