An Army private was charged Monday with helping an occult neo-Nazi group to plan an attack on his unit.
The private allegedly shared information with the occult group about his unit’s weaponry, movements and location, in hopes that members of the group would facilitate an attack on his fellow troops, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said Monday. And when confronted with the evidence against him in late May, authorities alleged, the private confessed and declared himself a traitor against the United States.
The laundry list of charges against Ethan Metzer, the result of a global inter-agency investigation, was unveiled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday afternoon.
“As alleged, Ethan Melzer, a private in the U.S. Army, was the enemy within,” the acting U.S. attorney in the district, Audrey Strauss, said in a statement.
According to the grand jury indictment against him, Melzer joined the Satanic neo-Nazi group “Order of the Nine Angles,” or “O9A,” in 2019, while he was an Army private. The group was founded in the UK, and has been linked to modern “accelerationist” neo-Nazi groups like Atomwaffen, which seek to hasten societal conflict through violence.
Melzer consumed propaganda from O9A and the Islamic State, according to the indictment, including an Islamic State document called “Harvest of the Soldiers.” According to the complaint against Melzer, authorities found an image of the document in his iCloud account after obtaining a warrant to search it. Another photo in the account included a book on “The Sinister Tradition: Order of Nine Angles.” (Seen above.)
After learning in April that his unit would be deployed to guard an overseas military installation, Melzer allegedly shared the assignment with O9A associates as well as a group called “RapeWaffen Division” for the purpose of “facilitating an attack on the unit,” according to the indictment.
Authorities say that in May, an alleged co-conspirator asked Melzer in a chat room associated with the group whether Melzer had deployed to Turkey yet, because “we are literally organizing a jihadi attack.”
“[Y]es probably,” Melzer allegedly replied. “As long as I get the info I need to give you all.”
In the exchange, Melzer appeared to accept the possibility that he would be shot in the attack, according to the complaint against him.
“Who gives a fuck,” he allegedly said. “The after effects of a convoy getting attacked would cover it…It would be another war…I would’ve died successfully…Cause if another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.”
On the same day as this exchange, May 17, Melzer “passed information regarding the deployment to a purported member of al Qaeda,” according to the indictment.
Of course, things aren’t always so simple in (alleged) international occult neo-Nazi plots. At one point, according to the conversation quoted in the complaint, Melzer appeared to lose his temper.
“Okay let me direct as possible,” he allegedly wrote on May 23. “IF YOU KNOW ANYONE IN TURKEY TELL THEM THIS INFO there.” He later clarified yet again that he was referring to information about “a convoy coming through Turkey soon and date and time will be given soon. Goddamn.”
According to the conversations listed in the complaint, Melzer was thorough, repeatedly listing the firepower and defensive capabilities of his unit and gaming out possible attacks. All the while, a confidential source fed information to law enforcement.
“[A] well hidden plt [platoon] size element or even some mortar team could absolutely reek havoc,” Melzer wrote at one point, after describing the lay of the land.
When confronted on May 30 about his plans, Melzer allegedly fessed up to sharing the information and admitted his role in plotting the attack. In the same interview, per the indictment, he “declared himself to be a traitor against the United States whose conduct was tantamount to treason.”
“We agree” with that assessment, FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement Monday.
Ultimately, a federal grand jury approved six counts against Melzer: Conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, attempted murder of U.S. nationals, conspiracy to Murder U.S. service members, attempted murder of U.S. service members, provision and attempted provision of material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to murder and main in a foreign country. Combined, the charges could mean life in prison.