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Homeland Security

US Soldier Charged With Plotting Deadly Attack on Own Unit

By Masood Farivar June 22, 2020

A U.S. Army soldier has been charged with plotting a mass attack on his unit by sending sensitive military information to an occult-based white supremacist group, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Ethan Melzer, 22, allegedly shared sensitive details about his unit, including information about its location, movements and security – to members of the Order of Nine Angles, the Justice Department said in a release.

Melzer, who joined the Army in 2018 and the Order of Nine Angles in 2019, relayed the information to members of the group and a related group called "RapeWaffen Division" shortly after learning in April 2020 that his unit, based in Europe, was deploying to another foreign country, according to a 14-page indictment unsealed Monday.

"Melzer and his co-conspirators planned what they referred to as a 'jihadi attack' during the deployment, with the objective of causing a 'mass casualty' event victimizing his fellow service members," the Justice Department said.

The FBI and the U.S. Army thwarted Melzer's plot in late May. Melzer was arrested in New York on June 10. He faces six charges, including conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to the indictment, during a May 30 interview with investigators, Melzer confessed to his role in the conspiracy, admitting that "he intended for the attack to result in the deaths of as many of his fell servicemen as possible..."

The Order of Nine Angles, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as "an enigmatic Satanic occult group," is based in Britain with affiliates around the world.

The group's "most extreme adherents promote human sacrifice, Nazism and Fascism and Aryan myths, and have been reported to praise Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden," according to the SPLC.

The group's spiritual leader, using the pseudonym Anton Long, is "a notorious British neo-Nazi leader with a violent criminal history," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

In recent years, researchers have linked O9A to a violent neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen Division.

According to ADL, Atomwaffen "draws some of its influences from satanic ideas and beliefs" and that its website, Siege Culture, promotes Long's book.

The book, "Hostia: Secret Teachings of the Order of Nine Angles," encourages "satanic novices" to engineer "a personal transformation to achieve a more revolutionary mindset," according to ADL.

"Suggestions include enlisting in a police force, championing heretical views, becoming a professional burglar and joining the armed forces (in wartime) to gain combat experience," the ADL said.

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