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New York: Thursday, August 13, 2020
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A US soldier accused of planning a neo-Nazi attack on his own military base

A US soldier accused of planning a neo-Nazi attack on his own military base

The Justice of the United States has accused Ethan Phelan Melzer, a 22-year-old soldier, of leaking secret information about his military base located abroad to a neo-Nazi group as part of an attack operation to cause “the death of many of his comrades of military service as possible,” according to the indictment released Monday.

The young man from Louisville, Kentucky, faces charges of conspiring to murder US citizens, another charge of conspiring against the US military and providing material support to terrorists. Melzer, who risks life in prison, said his conduct was “tantamount to treason,” the indictment quoted by local media said.

Melzer allegedly shared details of the location, movements and security of his military base with members of The Order of Nine Angles (known as O9A), a UK-founded satanic cult that prosecutors described as a “extremist and neo-Nazi violent group”, whose followers show admiration for Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

“Melzer allegedly provided this life-threatening information with the intention of passing it on to jihadist terrorists,” Audrey Strauss, the United States’ acting attorney general for the Southern District of New York, said in a press release. Strauss added that the soldier was “the internal enemy” who was “motivated by racism and hatred while trying to carry out this latest act of treason.”

The plan for the attack allegedly began in late April, after Melzer was informed that his military base would be relocated, according to the indictment. Prosecutors explained that the soldier used an encrypted application to send information to O9A members and a related group known as the RapeWaffen Division. He revealed information about the details of where they would go and the surveillance and defense capabilities of their location.

Authorities also claimed that Melzer, who joined the Army in 2018, also promised to share more details of his new base after his arrival “to try to maximize the likelihood of a successful attack on the unit.” In a message he said he was “literally risking his free life” by leaking the information and “expected results.”

Prosecutors did not explain how the FBI and the Army thwarted the attack operation in late May. Authorities detained the soldier on June 10.

In custody, the accused confessed to planning the attack on an unidentified military base located abroad and declared himself a “traitor against the United States.” FBI agents also discovered an ISIS document stored in Melzer’s iCloud account that described attacks and killings of US service members.

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