Breaking Extremely Bad

Twenty-four-year-old US Army Private Ethan Melzer, aka Etil Reggard, has pled guilty to planning an attack on his unit during a scheduled deployment to Turkey. He, while assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was found to be working with members of the Order of the Nine Angles terrorist organization. Melzer had been planning on offering a defense stating that the murderous plan was only “an internet fantasy” but offered a guilty plea shortly before he was due to stand trial last week.

Members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade during a training exercise. Image Credit:

According to documents released by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the ex-soldier specifically pled guilty to “attempting to murder US service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and illegally transmitting national defense information.” Melzer planned a Jihadist attack on the days of their deployment to Turkey. He had also transmitted details of the location, movement, and security aspects of that his to the extremist organization Order of the Nine Angles, or O9A, a neo-Nazi, occult-oriented white supremacist group.

The main symbol of O9A. Image Credit:

Regarding the disturbing case, US Attorney Damian Williams said:

“As he admitted in court today, Ethan Melzer attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his own unit by unlawfully disclosing its location, strength, and armaments to a neo-Nazi, anarchist, white supremacist group.  The defendant believed he could force the U.S. into prolonged armed conflict while causing the deaths of as many soldiers as possible.  MELZER’s traitorous conduct was a betrayal of his storied unit and nothing short of an attack against the most essential American values.  Thanks to the incredible work of the FBI and the U.S. Army, MELZER’s duplicity was revealed and his murderous attack thwarted.”    

A Sinister Soldier

Meltzer had been part of the dark group since 2017. Dark is an understatement. O9A harbors hardcore anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi, and Satanic beliefs. They are the worst of the worst. O9A members have been involved in numerous murders, sexual assaults, child abuse, and child prostitution schemes. They urge the overthrow of western society by violent means and openly revere characters like Osama bin Laden and Adolph Hitler.

Their plans involve infiltrating government and military organizations to achieve their goals. This is what initially motivated Melzer to join the Army in 2018. However, not actually wanting to be a soldier, he would repeatedly trash talk the Army and described it as just another way to hone his violent skills. During his trial, the government released several Telegram messages that revealed Melzer’s true intent and personality. In one message, he explained, “I fly under the radar already, act completely normal around other people outside, and don’t talk about my personal life or beliefs with anyone.”

Roughly a year after joining, he deployed with his unit to Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy. During his time abroad, he avidly sought out and consumed propaganda from multiple extremist groups, including ISIS. He was found to have subscribed to encrypted online sites where he downloaded and viewed jihadist attacks on US troops and facilities and brutal executions of soldiers and civilians. Unsurprisingly, he also subscribed to numerous white supremacist and neo-Nazi propaganda sites.

In early May of 2020, Melzer learned that he would be reassigned to a new unit scheduled for an additional foreign deployment. This unit would be guarding a sensitive and isolated military outpost somewhere in Turkey. As part of his new assignment, he received numerous classified and unclassified briefings in preparation for deployment. Some of his briefings covered the purpose and layout of the installation and security measures in place there. In addition, he learned their plans on how they would be handling different hypothetical terrorist attack scenarios.

Members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade under canopy. Image Credit:

Melzer was apparently ecstatic to learn of the sensitivity and importance of his upcoming assignment. Almost immediately, he began passing on sensitive information to O9A. He proposed and advocated for permission to plan a deadly attack on his fellow service members.

It was discovered that he passed information to a sub-group of O9A known as the “RapeWaffen Division.” First, Melzer explained the anticipated deployment date, troop movements, armaments, local topography, and existing security measures. Then, working with the RapeWaffen, they formulated what they called a “jihadi attack,” with their stated objective being to create a “mascal” or mass casualty event that would essentially cripple his unit’s fire teams and draw international attention.

As if this wasn’t all bad enough, Melzer and his RapeWaffen colleagues shared their plans with members of al Qaeda. Time went on, and the young private gathered more information that could be used in this plan to kill his peers. He promised to leak real-time images of the facility once he arrived to improve the odds of success of the attack.

He sent the following message to his O9A handlers over encrypted communications channels: “[y]ou just gotta understand that currently I am risking my literal free life to give you all this,” He said; because of that fact, he was “expecting results.” He acknowledged that he could be killed during the attacks, and he spoke of his willingness to die for o9A’s goals, writing, “who gives a f**k [. . .] it would be another war . . . I would’ve died successfully . . . cause [] another 10-year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.” 


The entire time Private Melzer was in Vincenza, his communications were monitored by the FBI and multiple military investigation agencies. He was arrested on the Italian base on May 30, 2020. That’s right, over two years ago, and I bet this is the first you hear of this. Actually, his arrest was covered by SOFREP back in 2020. Cases as complicated as this take a long time to bring to trial. Initially, he had pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against him. At the very last moment, he confessed to what he had done.

Justice Delayed

As part of his testimony, Melzer admitted to deleting some of his communications regarding the planning of the attack because they amounted to treason.

Melzer pled guilty to the following:

  1. Attempting to murder US military service members, in violation of 18 USC § 1114, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison;
  2. Attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, in violation of 18 USC § 2339A, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; and
  3. Illegally transmitting national defense information believing that it could be used to the injury of the United States in violation of 18 USC § 793(d), which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

“Melzer declared himself to be a traitor against the United States, and described his own conduct as tantamount to treason. We agree.” – FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr.

He will be sentenced in federal court by Judge Gregory H. Woods on January 6, 2023, at 10:00 AM.