- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2020

Federal authorities have charged a U.S. Army soldier they say conspired with a neo-Nazi group to murder everyone in his unit, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

Prosecutors say Ethan Phelan Melzer, 22, of Louisville, worked with a British occult-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist group known as the Order of the Nine Angels.

Mr. Melzer helped plan an attack on his unit once it deployed to Turkey by providing details about his unit’s location, movement and security with the Order of the Nine Angels, according to a court filing.

He told military investigators that he planned for the attack to result in as many deaths of service members as possible and declared himself to be a traitor against the United States, prosecutors said.

The FBI and U.S. Army thwarted the alleged plot in late May and Mr. Melzer was arrested on June 10.

On May 23, Mr. Melzer sent electronic communications to participants in a chatroom related to the Order of Nine Angels acknowledging the risk he was taking in plotting the ambush, prosecutors said.

Mr. Melzer allegedly wrote that he was “risking [his] literal free life,” by disclosing the information, adding that “he was expecting results.”

A day later, in a similar exchange, Mr. Melzer said if he is killed in the attack, he would have “died successfully,” according to the indictment.

“[C]ause another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark,” he allegedly wrote.

Mr. Melzer, who joined the Army in 2019, faces six felony counts, including conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, attempting to murder U.S. nationals, conspiring to murder U.S. military service members, providing material support to terrorists conspiring to maim and murder in a foreign country.

At least four of the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“As the indictment lays out, Ethan 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. “Our women and men in uniform risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own.”

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