Jun 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. Army soldier charged with plotting white supremacist terrorist attack

An Army uniform
Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

U.S. Army soldier Ethan Melzer has been charged with terrorism offenses after allegedly sending information on his unit to the neo-Nazi group O9A in the hopes of facilitating a "mass casualty" attack on his fellow soldiers, the Justice Department announced Monday.

What they're saying: "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," said acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss

  • "As alleged, Melzer was motivated by racism and hatred as he attempted to carry out this ultimate act of betrayal," Strauss added.

What we know: Melzer joined the Army in 2018 and joined O9A in 2019, according to DOJ. O9A is known to actively support white supremacy and anti-semitism, and expresses admiration for Nazis and Islamic jihadists.

  • The soldier acknowledged in written communities that he could die in a potential attack on his unit, but stated, "who gives a [f*ck] ... it would be another war ... I would’ve died successfully ... cause [] another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark."
  • Melzer openly called himself a traitor in a voluntary FBI interview and said he intended for the attack to kill as many of his fellow service members as possible.

Read the full complaint.

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