An American soldier, member of a far-right, neo-Nazi group, has been accused of planning an ambush on his own unit, stationed abroad. He allegedly did so by sharing sensitive details about his unit's location, movement and security, with the the UK-based neo-Nazi Satanist group, Order of Nine Angles (or, O9A), according to the indictment unsealed on Monday.
Ethan Melzer (22) joined the US army in 2018 and O9A, the next year. The group has "espoused anarchist, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, and anti-Semitic beliefs", the prosecutors said on Monday. Melzer allegedly planned the attack, due to "a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence", the prosecutors added.
According to the prosecutors, Melzer had also consumed ISIS propaganda. He possessed a book entitled "The Sinister Tradition: Order of Nine Angles", a skull mask - a known neo-Nazi symbol, a picture that appears to depict a knife and a US Army beret, ABC reported. Last month, he allegedly sent information through an encrypted messaging app, to seek assistance for a mass casualty attack on his army unit, once it was deployed in Turkey. He was arrested on June 10.
He provided this potentially deadly information with the intention that "it be conveyed to jihadist terrorists", Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss alleged in a statement. He was driven by "racism and hatred" to carry out the "ultimate act of betrayal", Strauss added.
As per the court records, Melzer confessed to his role in plotting the attack. He allegedly intended the planned ambush to kill as many as his fellow service members as possible. He has also declared himself a traitor against the US and "described his own conduct as tantamount to treason", William F Sweeney Jr, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office, said in a statement.
Melzer has been charged with conspiring and attempting to murder US nationals, among other charges. If convicted, the charges would land him in prison for life.
Order of Nine Angles (O9A)
The O9A was founded in the 1970s and professes Nazi-Satanist ideology, a supernatural worldview that encourages the disruption of society through violence, criminality and sexual abuse, the BBC reported. Last month, "Hope not Hate", a UK-based anti-racism and anti-fascism campaign group called for the government to ban 09A and declare it a terrorist organization.