The Atomwaffen evidence

Here's the evidence a federal court in Texas recently made public in the case against Atomwaffen Division member Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh.

Hi, and welcome to The Informant, a publication covering hate and extremism in America, written and edited by me, Nick R. Martin.

Recently, a number of you have been asking me how you can support The Informant financially. The answer is really simple: Soon, I’ll be announcing paid subscription plans. I’m still working out what that’s going to look like, but I’ll be sharing those details with you in the coming weeks. Don’t worry; a lot of the journalism I’m doing here will still be available for free. But the subscription model will allow those of you who want to help sustain this important work to do so at a low cost.

In the meantime, there are two ways to show your support. First, click the heart icon at the top of this post to show me that you appreciate the work and want to see more of it. Second, if you haven’t already done so, please sign up for the free newsletter. It’s as easy as typing in your email address.

The Atomwaffen evidence

Handcuffed and wearing a bright-orange jumpsuit, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh acted as if the entire situation was preposterous. He’d been arrested the day before by authorities in Garza County, Texas, for drug and weapons possession. And now, in an interrogation room, he was trying to talk his way out of it.

“That’s the thing, man. I wasn’t trying to sell anything,” Bruce-Umbaugh said, his hands pressed together as if he was pleading for someone to understand. “Like, this was all just personal use. Like, I’m not trying to fuckin’ bring shit into your guys’s community. I’m not trying to bring any trouble here.”

What Bruce-Umbaugh likely didn’t know at the time, however, was that law enforcement already had reason to believe he was bringing trouble to Texas.

The 23-year-old had been in the passenger’s seat of a blue 2000 Ford Focus driven by his longtime friend, Kaleb Cole, when they got pulled over for going 42 in a 35 mph zone in Garza County, some 1,700 miles from their homes in Washington state.

When deputies ran the license plate of the car, a hit came back: possible terrorist organization; contact the FBI.

Both men were members of the neo-Nazi organization Atomwaffen Division, which has been linked to five killings nationwide and which urges its members to engage in mass shootings and terror attacks to bring about the end of modern civilization.

Deputies found marijuana, THC oil, and multiple guns in the vehicle. Bruce-Umbaugh immediately took the weight for everything in the car and was arrested on the spot. Cole, believed to be the Washington state leader of the group, was allowed to go free.

The case demonstrates the intense focus federal authorities are putting on groups like Atomwaffen. The arrest soon went federal and Bruce-Umbaugh faced a weapons charge in U.S. District Court in North Texas.

That court recently made five video clips of Bruce-Umbaugh’s interrogation available to the public following his guilty plea to the weapons charge. The clips were made public thanks to some legal wrangling by the television station KING5 in Seattle.

In addition to the video clips, the court also released 17 audio clips from phone calls that Bruce-Umbaugh made from jail as well as 15 pages of photographs taken by authorities during and after the traffic stop. The clips and photographs were used as evidence against Bruce-Umbaugh during his detention hearing in November.

I recently paid $48.50 for copies of the video, audio, and photographs. And now, I’m making it all available for you, the readers of The Informant, for free.

There are a few pieces of evidence that clearly link to Atomwaffen, including a flag with the group’s logo that was found in the car and a business card with what appears to be a quote from Hitler — though the grainy photograph makes it hard to tell for sure.

Most of the evidence, however, points to Bruce-Umbaugh’s drug use. He talked on the jail phone about withdrawal symptoms and told his interrogators that he used to be a heroin addict but now only used marijuana.

Asked how often he smoked weed, he told authorities in one of the video clips: “I’d say every day, but not a lot, not a large quantity.”

“I don’t consider myself a stoner, by any means,” he continued. “I fuckin’ hate stoners, to be honest with you. I think they’re annoying as well as stupid.”

I compiled the video and audio clips into two separate YouTube videos, and made a PDF of the photos available on DocumentCloud. (Please excuse my video editing skills, which are completely amateur.)

If you see anything worth highlighting, send me a note at or a tweet at @nickmartin.

Here’s the evidence released by the court:

Help make The Informant even better. Give me feedback, point out factual errors or typos, or send me news tips. Reach me at