A former U.S. Army soldier has been sentenced to 45 years for his satanic neo-Nazi plot to get his countrymen killed by al Qaeda.
Ethan Melzer, 24, was sentenced Friday afternoon s for leaking information to the Order of Nine Angles (O9A), a satanic neo-Nazi group. O9A encourages its followers to take “insight roles” by joining other organizations to obtain information and training, and corrode them from within. The international group has been connected to terrorist plots, murders, racist assaults, and child abuse. In court documents, prosecutors describe it as a “depraved, white supremacist organization bent on sadistic violence and destroying civilized society.”
Melzer pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring and attempting to murder military service members in summer 2022.
“Ethan Melzer infiltrated the U.S. Army in service of a neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and jihadist group,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement. “He used his membership in the military to pursue an appalling goal: the brutal murder of his fellow U.S. service members in a carefully plotted ambush.”
Melzer joined the U.S. military in 2018, and a year later he was deployed to Italy as a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Authorities said that while deployed Melzer accessed forums where he watched videos of jihadi executions and consumed f neo-Nazi propaganda.
According to court documents, the man was active in several O9A chats for years. In for one of the group's nexions (the name for their cells) dubbed “Rapewaffen Division.” Using the name “Etil Reggad,” Melzer discussed his training and the finer points of neo-Nazi satanism. Over his time with the group, Melzer grew into a leader in their chat rooms.
In 2020 the neo-Nazi learned he was being reassigned, and this time he was being sent to Turkey where he would guard an “isolated and sensitive military installation.” As part of his training, Melzer learned the classified ins-and-outs of the location and how the military base would defend itself from a potential terrorist attack.
Melzer immediately fed this information back to his fellow Rapewaffen members. Using this information Melzer and his group tried to figure out the best way to inflict a “mass casualty” event at the military base. He shared information about his troop's size, the date of deployment, the base’s surveillance, and other key information.
This information was then shared with a man who was purportedly a member of al Qaeda.
“[Y]ou just gotta understand that currently, I am risking my literal free life to give you all this,” he wrote to the group, adding he was “expecting results.” He said he fully knew he may be killed during the attack but was happy to do so if it furthered O9A’s goal of destabilizing society.
“Who gives a fuck,” he wrote. “It would be another war… I would’ve died successfully cause another 10-year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.”
He promised to share more information once he got to the military base, but he never made it. He was taken into custody as he was preparing to board the plane to depart for Turkey. He was found with O9A texts on him as well as two cell phones, one being a burner that he promised to take and leak photos of the military base to his fellow neo-Nazis.
During his interviews, Melzer essentially admitted everything but tried to explain away his actions as dark humor.
The Order of Nine Angles, which was founded in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, has a long violent history and found new life in the internet age. The group has become infamous for its depraved belief system, the violent actions of its followers, and being deliberately obtuse in its ideology. O9A has been tied deeply to the violent accelerationist neo-Nazi movement in both the United States and the U.K. where adherents were found within groups like National Action, Atomwaffen, and The Base.
One of the most infamous nexions tied to O9A is the Temple Ov Blood, an influential cell that not only recruited for the occult group but also published books and propaganda. Court filings show that one of the main figures in the group was paid over $100,000 to be a government informant.
On top of the violent actions, the group has had a disturbing amount of its adherents being arrested for sexual crimes against children or possessing child pornography. Police recently just charged a New York man with sexual exploitation of minors and possession of child porn. The man had posed in front of a flag connected to an O9A group and police found occult texts in his home after raiding it.
Melzer’s lawyers initially asked for a 10-year sentence arguing that the plot was never fully fleshed out and didn’t make much sense. Jonathan Marvinny, a lawyer for Melzer, told the New York Times he was “disappointed” with the hefty sentence. In a letter to the judge, Melzer said that he regrets his actions, called his fellow satanic neo-Nazis a “group of idiots” and said the situation was no one’s fault but his own.
In sentencing documents, the prosecution wrote that Melzer joining the military represented a “tremendous opportunity and a positive chance in his life” but was ultimately one “he chose to corrupt and destroy.”
“He chose to treat that opportunity as a forum to pursue the gravest acts of evil possible: betraying his fellow soldiers, the soldiers whose comradery he allegedly valued; attempting to murder them; and working with other neo-Nazis and terrorists to carry out a vile, racist mission to effectuate his deadly plans and try to spark an international war to cause vast destruction and death.”