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Prosecutors: Suspected leader of neo-Nazi group in Washington should not be released

Federal prosecutors say Kaleb Cole should not be released from detention pending trial because he poses a threat to the community.

SEATTLE — Prosecutors argue the suspected leader of a neo-Nazi group in Washington state should not be released from detention pending trial because he "poses a serious risk of danger to the community."

Kaleb Cole’s lawyers say he should be released because he has no criminal record and his beliefs are protected by the first amendment. Cole's lawyers proposed that he be released to live with his father in Arlington.

RELATED: Neo-Nazi from Olympia sentenced to federal prison for gun crimes

Police and prosecutors used Washington’s "red flag" law to seize a dozen firearms from Cole, the suspected leader of Atomwaffen's Washington cell. They convinced a judge his radical views and online posts calling for a “race war” present an extreme threat to public safety.

Cole was arrested in February when the FBI accused Atomwaffen of threatening violence toward journalists and minorities. He was charged with three others after sending threatening letters to journalists and activists across the country. 

Though his guns were seized, Cole had an "assault rifle" and ammunition after Seattle police seized his "arsenal" of weapons, according to prosecutors.

RELATED: 'My swastika flag and firearms': Washington neo-Nazi faces FBI after arrest

"Indeed, he bragged to an undercover officer that the police had failed to seize a machine that he owned to make firearms," according to prosecutors.

Credit: Courtesy of U.S. Attorney's Office
An undercover officer took a photo of Kale Cole, a suspected neo-Nazi leader, dressed in a Ku Klux Klan uniform.

Prosecutors argue Cole is a flight risk, having recently traveled internationally to Europe and Canada. He is believed to have "forged ties with other extremists overseas." 

Though Cole's lawyers ask he be released to family, prosecutors say that while family may be "well intentioned," his family has "not been able to serve as an effective curb against [Cole's] extremist behavior."