Melzer joined the US Army in 2018, and a year later, he allegedly joined an extremist group known as Order of the Nine Angles, or O9A. Members of the white supremacist group have, according to federal prosecutors, “espoused violent, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and Satanic [beliefs], and have expressed admiration for both Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, such as Usama Bin Laden.”
When the 22-year-old soldier was told in April 2020 that he would be deployed to Turkey, he allegedly started to help plan an attack on his unit, using an encrypted app to communicate with members of O9A known as the “RapeWaffen Division.”
“Ethan Melzer plotted a deadly ambush on his fellow soldiers in the service of a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said.
The group, investigators claim in court documents, has expressed belief in the “inequality of races,” that Hitler was “sent by our gods to guide us to greatness,” and that the Holocaust was a lie.