On Monday, the Justice Department announced an indictment charging a US Army soldier with planning a “mass casualty” attack on his own unit by sending sensitive details to members of a white supremacist group and an occult-based neo-Nazi.
U.S. Army Pvt. Ethan Melzer, 22, is charged with conspiring and attempting to murder US nationals, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring and attempting to murder military service members, and conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country.
“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,” John C.
Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security 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. ”
US Attorney Audrey Strauss echoed the message and called Melzer “the enemy within” based on the indictment.
In a CNN report, Melzer’s attorney, Jennifer Willis said that they have no comment at this time.
In the indictment, Melzer had specifically been communicating with an extremist group named “Order of the Nine Angles,” whose members “have espoused violent, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and satanic beliefs and have expressed admiration for, among others, Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler.”
The indictment also states that after the Army informed Melzer of further deployment plans of his unit around April, he used an encrypted application to send messages to members of “Order of the Nine Angles” as well as the information related to his unit’s anticipated deployment location and security details in order to facilitate an attack.
Melzer acknowledged in his communication with the group that he could be killed during the attack, writing that he “would’ve died successfully” and the aftermath “would be another war,” the indictment stated.
On Monday, the US Army and FBI said that they prevented Melzer’s plan in May and he was arrested on June 10. The case is assigned to United States District Judge Gregory Woods.