A former U.S. Army soldier was sentenced to 45 years in jail for a deliberate attack on his personal fellow soldiers.
Ethan Phelan Melzer, a.ok.a. Etil Reggad, of Louisville, Ky., attempted to coordinate with a neo-Nazi group often called Order of the 9 Angles (O9A) to ambush other U.S. soldiers he was serving with abroad, by leaking their place to Al-Qaeda.
The choice got here Friday after Melzer pled responsible in June for trying to homicide U.S. service members, offering and trying to offer materials help to terrorists, and illegally transmitting nationwide protection data.
“Melzer betrayed his fellow soldiers and his nation,” mentioned Assistant Director Robert Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, in an announcement launched by the Department of Justice.
“People serving their nation abroad ought to by no means need to worry a terrorist attack from inside their very own ranks, and at the moment’s sentence holds him accountable for his lethal plan to attack the courageous women and men of the armed forces who defend our nation,” Wells added.
The DOJ’s report describes O9A as “a white supremacist, neo-Nazi and pro-jihadist group” that holds “antisemitic and Satanic beliefs,” along with selling “excessive violence to speed up and trigger the demise of Western civilization.”
Melzer, 24, consumed O9A and ISIS propaganda whereas deployed abroad in Italy in 2019.
When he was reassigned a 12 months later to a venture that concerned entry to delicate navy data, he instantly started sharing it with members of the terrorist group.
Melzer proposed, advocated for and helped plan the supposed 2020 ambush that will have an effect on a “mass casualty” on his fellow troops.
Melzer additionally advised O9A he had no downside dying for their trigger.
“It might be one other battle . . . I might’ve died efficiently . . . caus[ing] another 10-year war in the Middle East would positively go away a mark,” he wrote by encrypted message channels.
“At the moment’s sentence makes clear that Melzer’s brazen actions backfired,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Damian Williams. “This workplace, alongside with our companions in legislation enforcement and the navy, will work tirelessly to deliver traitors like Melzer to justice and to guard the protection and integrity of our armed providers,” he added.