A US Army private faces charges for attempted murder and terrorism after passing sensitive military information to an “occult-based neo-Nazi group” in preparation for a major terrorist attack on fellow soldiers.
The 22-year-old private, Ethan Melzer, was hit with a six-count indictment on Monday for his role in the sinister plot, in which he is said to have revealed the location, strength and armaments of his own unit to facilitate an ambush.
“Melzer plotted a deadly ambush on his fellow soldiers in the service of a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement.
Acting USA Strauss: As alleged, Ethan Melzer, a private in the U.S. Army, was the enemy within. He allegedly attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his own unit, unlawfully revealing its location, strength & armaments to a neo-Nazi, anarchist, white supremacist group.
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) June 22, 2020
The private is believed to have been recruited into an occult group known as the Order of Nine Angles (also known as O9A) some months after joining the army in 2018, the Department of Justice said. Founded in the UK in the 1960s, the sect blends elements of Satanism, Paganism and neo-Nazi ideology and calls on members to commit acts of ‘human sacrifice’ as part of magical rites. In one of the group’s own texts, it claims Adolf Hitler was “sent by our gods to guide us to greatness” while elsewhere, the O9A has also voiced praise for terrorists, such as 9/11 perpetrators and al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden.
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After deploying overseas with his unit in the fall of 2019, Melzer began consuming “propaganda from multiple extremist groups,” the DOJ said, including O9A literature and an Islamic State document describing attacks on US soldiers. Informed of an upcoming military assignment in Turkey in May 2020, Melzer then contacted an O9A cell calling itself the “RapeWaffen Division” on an encrypted messenger app,