The former leader of a white supremacist group pleaded guilty to conspiring to make death threats against a Brooklyn-based journalist in federal court on Wednesday.
Nicholas Welker, also known as “King ov Wrath,” posted death threats against a Kings County-based reporter as a way to intimidate them to stop reporting on Feuerkrieg Division, an international violent extremist group which Welker admitted to being the leader of.
Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty plea alongside James Smith, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI New York Field Office on Sept. 27.
“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 for the Eastern District of New York Breon 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.”
According to court filings and evidence presented at the hearing, Welker posted a photo online of the journalist with a gun aimed at their head with the words “Race Traitor” over their eyes. The threat which was posted on a public online forum stated “JOURNALIST F[***] OFF! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.”
The threat was further shared by two FKD members, who were underaged at the time, directly on the reporter’s profile on X, formerly known as Twitter, as a way to frighten them to drop their reporting on FKD.
When originally posted, the threat included information about the reporter’s workplace, a national multimedia news organization.
Welker was arrested in California on federal charges in March 2023. The Neo-Nazi hate group he lead had allegedly been threatening the journalist since they began reporting on the group in the summer of 2021, as previously reported by Brooklyn Paper.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, FKD is a small international group that “advocates for a race war and holds some of the white supremacist movement’s most extreme views.”
The group embraces violence as a means to “fix” the political and cultural system and encourages attacks on racial minorities, the Jewish community, the LGBTQ+ community, the U.S. Government, journalists and critical infrastructure.
Welker faces up to five years in prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced early next year.