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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Black Friday in-store shopping up from 2020 but trails pre-pandemic levels

Shoppers carry their purchases during Black Friday shopping at Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont of Greater Chicago Area, Illinois on Nov. 26, 2021. Photo: Joel Lerner/Xinhua via Getty Images

More shoppers flocked to stores on Black Friday this year compared to last, but online shopping was lower than expected, according to data from Friday.

Driving the news: Online shopping was on the lower end of what was expected, largely because people had been ringing up their shopping carts earlier in the year in an effort to skirt potential supply chain issues, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.