USA v. Melzer, Ethan
Louisville, KY

Order of the Nine Angels or O9A (Neo-Nazi Group), ISIS, Al Qaeda

Ethan Melzer, 22, of Louisville, Kentucky, was charged in an indictment for allegedly planning an attack on his U.S. Army unit by sending sensitive details about the unit – including information about its location, movements, and security – to members of an extremist organization named Order of the Nine Angles (O9A), an occult-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist group. The FBI and the U.S. Army thwarted Melzer's plot in late-May 2020, and the FBI arrested Melzer on June 10, 2020. In approximately October 2019, Melzer deployed abroad with the Army. Prior to planning the attack, Melzer consumed propaganda from multiple extremist groups, including O9A and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which is also known as ISIS. For example, in connection with the investigation, the FBI seized from an iCloud account maintained by Melzer an ISIS-issued document with a title that included the phrase "HARVEST OF THE SOLDIERS" and described attacks and murders of U.S. personnel in April 2020. Melzer joined the U.S. Army in 2018, and he joined O9A by 2019. Members and associates of O9A have 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 Osama Bin Laden, the now-deceased former leader of al Qaeda. Members and associates of O9A have also participated in acts of violence, including murders.

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