Damian Williams, the US Legal professional for the Southern District of New York, introduced immediately that ETHAN PHELAN MELZER, a/okay/a “Etil Reggad,” was sentenced to 45 years in jail for making an attempt to homicide U.S. service members, offering and making an attempt to offer materials assist to terrorists, and illegally transmitting nationwide protection info. MELZER deliberate a jihadist assault on his U.S. Military unit within the days main as much as a deployment to Turkey and despatched delicate particulars in regards to the unit — together with details about its location, actions, and safety — to members of the extremist group Order of the 9 Angles (“O9A”), a white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and pro-jihadist group. MELZER pled responsible on June 24, 2022, earlier than U.S. District Choose Gregory H. Woods, who imposed immediately’s sentence.
U.S. Legal professional Damian Williams mentioned: “Ethan Melzer infiltrated the U.S. Military in service of a neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and jihadist group. He used his membership within the army to pursue an appalling objective: the brutal homicide of his fellow U.S. service members in a fastidiously plotted ambush. By unlawfully disclosing his unit’s location, energy, and armaments to different O9A members and jihadists in furtherance of this ambush, Melzer traitorously sought to assault the very troopers he was entrusted to guard. Immediately’s sentence makes clear that Melzer’s brazen actions backfired and that this Workplace — together with our companions in regulation enforcement and the army — will work tirelessly to carry traitors like Melzer to justice and to guard the protection and integrity of our armed companies.”
In accordance with the Indictment and different paperwork within the public file, in addition to statements made in public courtroom proceedings:
MELZER is a member of O9A. O9A espouses neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and Satanic beliefs and promotes excessive violence to speed up and trigger the demise of Western civilization. The group has expressed admiration each for Nazis, comparable to Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, comparable to Usama Bin Laden, the now-deceased former chief of al Qaeda. Members and associates of O9A have additionally participated in acts of violence, together with murders. O9A members are instructed to meet “sinister” deeds, together with “perception roles,” the place they try to infiltrate numerous organizations, together with the army, to achieve coaching and expertise, commit acts of violence, establish like-minded people, and in the end subvert these teams from inside.
MELZER joined the U.S. Military in roughly 2018 and infiltrated its ranks as a part of an perception function to additional his objectives as an O9A adherent. In roughly October 2019, MELZER deployed overseas with the Military to Italy as a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Fight Workforce. Whereas stationed overseas, MELZER consumed propaganda from a number of extremist teams, together with O9A and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which is also called ISIS. For instance, MELZER subscribed to encrypted on-line boards the place he downloaded and accessed movies of jihadist assaults on U.S. troops and amenities and jihadist executions of civilians and troopers, along with far-right, neo-Nazi, and different white supremacist propaganda.
In roughly early Could 2020, the Military knowledgeable MELZER that he can be reassigned to a unit scheduled for an additional international deployment, the place the unit can be guarding an remoted and delicate army set up (the “Army Base”). After he was notified of the project, MELZER joined his new unit and attended weeks of coaching, together with labeled and unclassified briefings, to arrange for the deployment. As a part of this intensive coaching, MELZER realized particulars in regards to the goal, structure, and safety of the Army Base. MELZER and his unit additionally acquired in-depth coaching about and practiced for quite a few risk situations on the Army Base, together with how to answer numerous potential terrorist assault situations.
Upon studying the significance and sensitivity of his upcoming deployment, MELZER instantly started passing that info to members of O9A. MELZER secretly used an encrypted messaging utility to suggest, advocate for, and plan a lethal assault on his fellow service members. MELZER despatched messages to members and associates of O9A and, particularly, a sub-group of O9A often called the “RapeWaffen Division,” offering particulars about his unit’s anticipated deployment together with troop actions, related dates, areas, armaments, topography, and safety, all in reference to the proposed assault on his unit and the Army Base. MELZER and his co-conspirators used this info to plan what they known as a “jihadi assault” with the target of inflicting a “mass casualty” occasion victimizing his fellow service members. For instance, after describing the unit’s weaponry throughout the deployment — and offering info according to the briefings he had acquired — MELZER described to his co-conspirators how an assault would “basically cripple” the unit’s “fire-teams.”
To additional the assault plan, MELZER and his co-conspirators handed these messages to a purported member of al Qaeda. MELZER’s proposed assault developed as he gathered and distributed further delicate details about the deployment. For instance, MELZER additionally promised to leak extra info as soon as he arrived on the Army Base — together with real-time pictures of the power and the frequency and channel of U.S. Military radio communications — with the intention to maximize the chance of a profitable assault on his unit or on a alternative unit deployed to the Army Base.
MELZER informed members of O9A in his encrypted digital communications “[y]ou simply gotta perceive that at present I’m risking my literal free life to provide you all this” and that he was “anticipating outcomes.” MELZER additional acknowledged that he could possibly be killed throughout the assault and described his willingness to die for O9A’s objectives, writing “who provides a fuck [. . .] it will be one other warfare . . . I might’ve died efficiently . . . trigger  one other 10 yr warfare within the Center East would undoubtedly go away a mark.” MELZER additionally acknowledged in his messages that he deleted a few of the communications relating to the planning of the assault as a result of the plot amounted to treason.
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Along with the jail time period, MELZER, 24, of Louisville, Kentucky, was sentenced to 3 years of supervised launch.
Mr. Williams praised the excellent efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) New York Joint Terrorism Process Pressure, which principally consists of brokers from the FBI and detectives from the New York Metropolis Police Division, together with the FBI’s Authorized Attaché Workplace in Rome, Italy, the Air Pressure Workplace of Particular Investigations, U.S. Military Counterintelligence, U.S. Military Legal Investigation Command, Attorneys from the U.S. Military Africa Workplace of the Workers Choose Advocate and 173rd Airborne Brigade Fight Workforce, and the U.S. Division of State Diplomatic Safety Service. Mr. Williams additionally thanked the Counterterrorism Part and the Counterintelligence and Export Management Part of the Division of Justice’s Nationwide Safety Division, in addition to the Division’s Workplace of Worldwide Affairs, for his or her help.
This prosecution is being dealt with by the Workplace’s Nationwide Safety and Worldwide Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg, Matthew J.C. Hellman, and Kimberly J. Ravener are accountable for the prosecution, with help from Trial Attorneys Alicia Prepare dinner of the Counterterrorism Part and Scott Claffee of the Counterintelligence and Export Management Part.