The official propaganda line that the regime would have us believe, solemnly repeated by Old Joe Biden, Gestapo chief Merrick Garland, and others is that “white supremacists” constitute the greatest terror threat the nation faces today. The only problem with this scenario is that in the absence of a large number of white supremacist terror attacks, the narrative has had to be shored up by branding parents as terrorists for being angry about drag queen story hour in elementary schools. That is not to say, however, that there is no white supremacist terrorism at all. It’s just not a matter of MAGA hat-wearing rednecks descending on obscure gay black actors in sub-zero weather while declaring that Chicago is “MAGA country.” Reality, as always, is more complicated than the narrative, as a recent case illustrates.
Last week, according to the Justice Department, a U.S. Army private named Ethan Phelan Melzer, who also went by the name Etil Reggad, “pled guilty to attempting to murder U.S. service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and illegally transmitting national defense information.” Melzer was involved with the Order of the Nine Angles (O9A), which the DOJ says is “an occult-based, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist group.” But no one is wearing MAGA hats in this crowd: “O9A espouses neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and Satanic beliefs, and promotes extreme violence to accelerate and cause the demise of Western civilization. The group has expressed admiration both for Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, such as Usama Bin Laden, the now-deceased former leader of al Qaeda.”
The group didn’t just admire bin Laden; it wanted to emulate him. Melzer, the DOJ explains, “planned a jihadist attack on his U.S. Army unit in the days leading up to a deployment to Turkey and sent sensitive details about the unit” to O9A. Underscoring the seriousness of this plot is the fact that this information included details of his unit’s “location, movements, and security.” This wouldn’t have been the first time O9A committed an act of terrorism: “Members and associates of O9A have also participated in acts of violence, including murders. O9A members are instructed to fulfill ‘sinister’ deeds, including ‘insight roles,’ where they attempt to infiltrate various organizations, including the military, to gain training and experience, commit acts of violence, identify like-minded individuals, and ultimately subvert those groups from within.”
That was why Melzer joined the Army in the first place: solely in order to set up this attack. No one initially suspected him, however, and so in October 2019 he went to Italy as part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. While he was there, however, Melzer “consumed propaganda from multiple extremist groups, including O9A and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which is also known as ISIS.” He also “subscribed to encrypted online forums where he downloaded and accessed videos of jihadist attacks on U.S. troops and facilities and jihadist executions of civilians and soldiers, in addition to far-right, neo-Nazi, and other white supremacist propaganda.”
Then in May 2020, Melzer was reassigned to a different unit, and classified briefings as part of his training to deploy with it. He started passing on this information to O9A, and to “a sub-group of O9A known as the ‘RapeWaffen Division,’ providing details about his unit’s anticipated deployment including troop movements, relevant dates, locations, armaments, topography, and security, all in connection with the proposed attack on his unit and the Military Base.” Melzer himself and other O9A members referred to what they were planning a “jihadi attack” and envisioned it as a “mass casualty” event that would kill numerous U.S. service members. He also passed on this information to someone who represented himself as a member of al-Qaeda.
Melzer understood the gravity of what he was doing, telling other O9A members: “[y]ou just gotta understand that currently I am risking my literal free life to give you all this.” He said he was willing to die to pull off his attack, but “I would’ve died successfully…cause  another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.”
So the DOJ got its white supremacist terrorist, but he had nothing to do with pro-Trump conservatives, and turned out to be working hand-in-glove with the jihad terrorists that the Biden administration has consistently downplayed or ignored outright. Once again, the narrative of the political and media elites is shown to be false – not, of course, that they will take any notice of that, much less change course.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.