KEY POINTS

  • Federal prosecutors claimed that a U.S. Army member sent sensitive information to a neo-Nazi group 
  • Ethan Melzer allegedly sent classified data about his unit's location, movements and security to the Order of the Nine Angles 
  • Prosecutors said it was part of their plan to facilitate a "jihadi attack" on the troops 

Federal prosecutors have alleged that a member of the U.S. Army has leaked sensitive information to plan an attack on his fellow soldiers stationed overseas.

In an indictment that was unsealed Monday (June 22), the Department of Justice claimed that 22-year-old Ethan Melzer passed on classified information about his unit's location, movements, weaponry and security to the Order of the Nine Angles, or O9A, a neo-Nazi Satanic and Left-Hand Path occult group based in the United Kingdom.

Prosecutors also alleged that what Melzer sent to the O9A was part of their plan to “facilitate” what they described to be a “jihadi attack” on the troops, said USA Today.

U.S. Army Rangers boarding a MC-130 aircraft U.S. Army Rangers board a U.S. Air Force MC-130 Combat Talon II aircraft at Fort Benning, Georgia, before a Ranger Rendezvous 2009 mass tactical jump on Aug. 3, 2009. Photo: Getty Images

Melzer, who joined the Army in 2018, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 10 and was charged with conspiring and attempting to murder U.S. nationals, conspiring and attempting to murder military service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country.

“Ethan Melzer plotted a deadly ambush on his fellow soldiers in the service of a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence. 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,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers told Fox News.

Law and Crime said Melzer, also known as Etil Reggad, “materially” supported O9A as well as the Rape Waffen Division. He confessed to his role in the plot in an interview on or about May 30, 2020 and added that he intended for it to “result in the deaths of as many of his fellow service members as possible following a “mass casual attack on his U.S. Army unit once it deployed to Turkey.”

Melzer also declared himself as a traitor against the United States and that his conduct was tantamount to treason, said ABC 7.

Prosecutors said that prior to planning the attack on his troops, Melzer “consumed” extremist propaganda from a number of groups, including ISIS. They also claimed that investigators found an ISIS-related document entitled “Harvest of the Soldiers” on Melzer's iCloud in April 2020.

“As alleged, Ethan Melzer, a private in the U.S. Army, was the enemy within,” said acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, adding that he was driven by racism and hatred as he attempted to carry out this “ultimate act of betrayal.”