U.S. soldier Ethan Melzer of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with giving classified information about U.S. troops to a European-based white supremacist group, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
Melzer, 22, allegedly planned an attack on his U.S. Army unit by sending sensitive details about the unit including information about its location, movements, and security to members of an extremist organization called the order of the Nine Angles, an occult-based neo-Nazi, and white supremacist group, according to the news release.
Melzer 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, the DOJ said in its release.
The FBI and the Army thwarted Melzer’s plot in late May, and the FBI arrested Melzer on June 10, the DOJ said in its release.
Melzer joined the Army about 2018, and he joined O9A about 2019, according to the criminal complaint and indictment, which were unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court.
Members and associates of O9A have espoused violent, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and Satanic beliefs, the DOJ said, and have expressed admiration for Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, such as Osama Bin Laden.
Rich Barak of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.