US soldier plotted with neo-Nazi group to attack own unit, indictment says

Ethan Melzer who was charged with conspiring and attempting to murder US nationals ‘was the enemy within’

The building of the southern district of New York. The acting US attorney Audrey Strauss said: ‘As alleged Ethan Melzer, a private in the US Army, was the enemy within.’
The building of the southern district of New York. The acting US attorney Audrey Strauss said: ‘As alleged Ethan Melzer, a private in the US Army, was the enemy within.’ Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

A US Army soldier was plotting with a British occultist neo-Nazi group to attack and kill members of his own military unit, according to a newly unsealed indictment by the Department of Justice.

Ethan Melzer, a 22-year old army private from Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with conspiring and attempting to murder US nationals, conspiring and attempting to murder military service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country, the department announced on Monday.

“As alleged, Ethan Melzer, a private in the US Army, was the enemy within,” said acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, Audrey Strauss, in a statement. “Melzer allegedly attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his own unit by unlawfully revealing its location, strength, and armaments to a neo-Nazi, anarchist, white supremacist group.”

Federal prosecutor Strauss succeeded Geoffrey Berman in the office over the weekend, after Berman was pushed out by the US attorney general, Bill Barr, and Donald Trump.

Melzer was a member of the Order of the Nine Angles (O9A), a group whose members have been involved with violence and murders, according to the DoJ. “Members and associates of O9A have espoused violent, neo-Nazi, antisemitic, and satanic beliefs, and have expressed admiration for both Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, such as Osama Bin Laden,” according to the department.

O9A originated as a fringe group in the UK in the 1960s and has gained influence in recent years among violent neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups, according to a report by Hope not Hate. In March, Hope Not Hate called on the British 凯发官网网址多少home Office to ban the group.

Four UK teenagers with ties to O9A have been jailed for terror offenses in the past year, according to the BBC, and one was convicted of planning a terrorist attack.

The charges allege the soldier gave information about US troops stationed overseas to O9A.

The US advocacy group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has described the group as an “occult neo-Nazi” organization, and British lawmakers have called for the group, which was founded there, to be banned, according to an NBC report.