March 21 (UPI) -- The leader of a white supremacist group was arrested Tuesday for allegedly threatening a journalist in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Nicholas Welker was arrested in San Jose, Calif., on federal charges, according to the Justice Department.
The journalist was not named in the complaint.
Welker, 31, is accused of sending threatening images and messages, including one picture of a gun aimed at the journalist's head with the caption "Race Traitor."
His threats alerted his followers that the journalist in question "Works as a Reporter" and is "Responsible for Stalking our Boys for Information," according to the Justice Department.
Welker, who also goes by the name "King ov [sic] Wrath,'' was at one time the leader of the racially motivated extremist group Feuerkrieg Division or FKD.
After Welker's posts were published in an online forum, two of his underage followers also threatened the journalist, tweeting directly at them. Their hope was the threats would stop the journalist from reporting about the group.
The two minors also were part of the same FKD extremist group, officials said.
"As alleged, Nicholas Welker used threats of violence in an effort to stop a journalist from reporting on the white supremacist hate group that he led. He sought to quell freedom of expression and to intimidate and instill fear in a journalist and the journalist's employer -- a well-known news media organization," U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
"We will not hesitate to prosecute those who threaten the core values on which our society was founded, including freedom of the press," Peace said.
The FKD group has members both in the United States and abroad, encouraging attacks on racial minorities, the Jewish community, members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as journalists covering the news, according to the Justice Department.
"As alleged, Mr. Welker and those he encouraged attempted to silence a journalist with threats of violence. Freedom of both speech and the press are integral to our nation, and we will not allow it to be restricted through violence or intimidation," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll said in a statement.