A former US Army soldier from Kentucky was sentenced Friday to up to 45 years in prison for plotting a murderous terrorist attack on his paratrooper unit.
Ethan Melzer, 24, was committed to a violent extremist group seeking to erode or destroy Western civilization.
His hands shook as the judge said he deserved the maximum because of the lasting damage he caused by sharing US military secrets with other followers of a radical violent group known as the Order of Nine Angles, or 09A, and other terrorist groups .
U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods rejected Melzer’s claim that he was a penitent, reformed man, saying it was more likely that he “played another role” in pursuit of leniency, just as he had “played soldier,” so he could conspire to try and kill fellow paratroopers.
Melzer’s lawyers had asked that he face no more than 15 years behind bars. He pleaded guilty last June to attempting to kill military personnel, supporting terrorists and illegally passing on defense information.
Ethan Melzer, 24, was committed to a violent extremist group seeking to erode or destroy Western civilization
“I still regret everything I’ve done,” Melzer told the judge before his sentence was announced. He said he wished “I’m sorry to my platoon” and wanted to show he could still be a productive member of society.
Melzer is said to have used a username, ‘Etil Reggad’, in his communications with the ‘anarchist, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic’ O9A.
According to the federal government, O9A has expressed extremist views, including one claiming that Adolf Hitler was “sent by our gods to lead us to greatness” and that the “story of the Jewish ‘holocaust’ is a lie to keep our race in chains.” and express our desire to see the truth revealed.”
The government also says that O9A has also expressed support for al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s views, as well as his organization’s terrorist attacks, including the bombings of US embassies in Africa, the attack on the USS Cole and the attacks from September 11. 2001, attacks.
Chained at the ankles, Melzer, of Louisville, Kentucky, was later escorted from the courtroom by deputy U.S. marshals.
Without a plea deal, Melzer could have received a life sentence.
Assistant US Attorney Matthew Hellman called Melzer a traitor and said his actions “constituted one of the most staggering betrayals from within the ranks of the armed forces … ever prosecuted in a federal court.”
Captain Joshua Kraus, a military intelligence officer, told the judge that Melzer had created a “psychological cancer” within his unit as the trust soldiers must place in their commanders and colleagues was called into question with his May 30 arrest 2020 as his platoon was about to get on buses to Italy.
The unit was on its way to a military base to guard an isolated and sensitive military installation.
O9A received media attention last summer when a US Army soldier, Ethan Melzer, was charged with plotting an attack on his own unit and sharing details of the unit’s movements with the group. A book with the O9A logo was found among Melzer’s belongings (pictured)
Melzer allegedly used a username, ‘Etil Reggad’, in his communications with the ‘anarchist, neo-fascist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic’ O9A
Melzer was a soldier assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in Vicenza, Italy. The garrison is pictured here
Kraus said information Melzer shared online “with our sworn enemies” can never be recovered and has left allies questioning whether they can share sensitive information with the United States.
“Our allies and enemies are well aware of this matter,” Kraus said.
Captain Jacob Ferris, the former head of Melzer’s unit, said the platoon known as “The Cowboys” were riding high when they were chosen from 20 platoons for their sensitive mission, only to find that one of them “cheated and betrayed’. them and had them “labeled as a platoon that had a terrorist.”
He said Melzer’s fellow 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team paratroopers were angry when they thought “that one of them was planning to kill them.”
He said the other soldiers were questioned by investigators who wanted to know if they had seen any signs that Melzer was betraying his oath to the United States, confronting them with what they might have missed.
Kraus said information Melzer shared online “with our sworn enemies” can never be recovered and has left allies questioning whether they can share sensitive information with the United States
Captain Jacob Ferris, the former head of Melzer’s unit, said the platoon known as “The Cowboys” were riding high when they were chosen from 20 platoons for their sensitive mission, only to find that one of them “cheated and betrayed’. ‘ them and had them ‘labelled as a platoon that had a terrorist’
One, Ferris said, told him, “I feel like out of 35 people, one of us should have seen the signs.”
Defense attorney Jonathan Marvinny, representing Melzer, applied for clemency, saying his client had fallen under the spell of “a ludicrous cult,” and urged the judge not to heed prosecutors who “paint him as if he were a sample is’.
Authorities said Melzer joined the military to infiltrate its ranks on behalf of a group espousing neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and satanic beliefs. They said the group tells members to undermine the military from within by infiltrating it to receive training, commit violence and identify like-minded individuals.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Melzer planned to join co-conspirators he met online to carry out a “jihadist attack” that would trigger a “mass-casualty” event that would provoke the United States into joining to a foreign war, ‘which would cause massive bloodshed’. and terrible damage to the land he was sworn to protect.’
Order of Nine Angles: Occult Nazi group that dreams of creating a ‘Satanic Empire’ through gruesome violence
Behind his absurd fantasies about dominating the solar system is a terrifying Nazi Satanist group that finds followers all over the world.
The Order of Nine Angles, believed to have been founded in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, deified Hitler and the Third Reich.
The Mass of Heresy, which is written in the group’s Black Book of Satan, is said before an altar wrapped in a swastika flag, with a framed photo of Adolf Hitler and Mein Kampf on it.
The followers chant, “We believe Adolf Hitler was sent by our gods to lead us to greatness. We believe in racial inequality and in the right of the Aryans to live by the laws of the people.’
Their rituals include eating cannabis biscuits, drinking wine, sexual acts performed by a priestess and animal sacrifice, according to the UK-based activist group Hope not hate.
The Order’s Black Book is considered so dangerous that its three volumes are kept vaulted in a special section of the British Library.
The book calls for celebrating the vernal equinox by sacrificing a human, suggesting that this “could be a Nazarene, like a meddling investigative journalist.”
The group believes the world is controlled by a Zionist occupying government, an anti-Semitic term used by neo-Nazis in the 1980s to describe Jewish control of the state.
The order aims to undermine society by inciting its followers to indiscriminate acts of violence, rape and the “culling” of victims.
It is believed that there are “Nexions” (cells) all over the world, fearing that online trolls seek the most extreme positions.
O9A wants to recruit a ‘certain type of rebellious youth’ who is prepared to take action and incite others to violence.
The order tries to surround itself in mystery and make its goals dark and terrifying to outsiders.
Hope Not Hate described it in a 2019 report as “undoubtedly the most extreme Nazi Satanist group in the world.”