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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.

Go deeper

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.