Melzer Sentenced to 45 Years
Former U.S. soldier Ethan Melzer was sentenced last Friday to 45 years in prison for attempting to murder fellow servicemen. His charges were based on planning a jihadist attack on soldiers leading up to deployment to Turkey. In addition, illegal information about the unit was sent to an extremist organization called Order of the Nine Angles (O9A).
According to court records, Melzer admitted his role in plotting the attack, and that he intended to kill asbmany of his fellow service members as possible.
“I disclosed sensitive information about my Army unit’s upcoming deployment to individuals I was communicating with on the online in the messaging app Telegram,” Melzer admitted in court. “I’m sorry, and I regret every single thing I did.”
Melzer’s role in the Army
It was 2018 when Melter joined the army. He didn’t begin gaining insight on his O9A adherent role until 2019. While stationed abroad in Italy, Melzer accessed and consumed O9A propaganda. One example of how he did so was by downloading media content of jihadist attacks and executions from online sites.
His major access to military information grew profoundly when he reassigned to the Military Base in May 2020. There, he learned of a foreign deployment that required extensive training, classified and unclassified briefings for preparation. Part of the training included knowing layout of the Military Base and the various scenarios of threats that could happen. Once Melzer mastered the ins-and-outs of the base, he began passing information to O9A secretly using a messaging app. The information planned an attack to infiltrate the base in a “mass casualty” way. Co-conspirators included members of al-Qaeda to maximize the success of the attack as help and backup.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams affirms that “Today’s sentence makes clear that Melzer’s brazen actions backfired.” He adds, “This office, along with our partners in law enforcement and the military, will work tirelessly to bring traitors like Melzer to justice and to protect the safety and integrity of our armed services.”
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