US authorities uncover a plot that would have seen mass US soldier casualties, all in a bid to start a war in the Middle East.
A neo-Nazi who had infiltrated the US army has been arrested for attempting to start a "10-year war" by manufacturing an attack on his unit in Turkey.
According to a US Justice Department court filing in Louisville, Kentucky, the ‘false flag’ operation would have seen 22-year-old Ethan Melzer working with the neo-Nazi and satanist group, Order of the Nine Angles - also known as O9A.
Melzer is accused of planning a "jihadist" attack with a view to killing as many US soldiers as possible at their base in Turkey. It was all in the hope the incident would trigger a breakdown of relations between the two countries, and cause a wider war in the Middle East.
The plot was foiled by the FBI when an informant fed details of Melzer’s plan to the bureau.
Described as "the enemy within" by US Attorney Audrey Strauss, "Melzer was motivated by racism and hatred.'' Strauss went on to add that if the accused had succeeded, it would have been the “ultimate act of betrayal”.
Melzer was arrested on June 10 and has been charged with conspiring and attempting to murder Americans and members of the US military, as well as providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to murder, and maim in a foreign country.
If found guilty, he could face life in prison.
Struggling with white supremacism
In a poll, The Military Times - a news outlet reflecting the voices of US service members - found that one in four members had white supremacist views.
White supremacist leaders in the US have encouraged followers to join the ranks of the military where individuals are trained in firearm use, battle techniques and are often deployed abroad, often in Muslim-majority countries.
The number of terrorist attacks by far-right perpetrators in the US has steadily increased year on year.
There has also been a strong symbiosis between members of the military and far-right groups. A prime example is the Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1866 by a group of Confederate war veterans.
Neo-nazi military infiltration in other countries
The US is not the only country that has seen the covert infiltration of its military.
There is mounting pressure in Germany to deal with threats emanating from a neo-Nazi presence in the army.
The German Military Counterintelligence Unit is investigating more than 450 cases of suspected German soldiers harbouring neo-nazi affiliations.
German members of parliament have accused the government of underplaying the situation and of not taking the problem "seriously enough.”
In 2017, a German lieutenant was arrested after authorities foiled his attempt at assassinating left-wing politicians. He was caught posing as a Syrian refugee, a status which would have meant he could implicate Muslims given that he was - on paper - an asylum seeker.
The plot failed but it did highlight fears that the would-be perpetrator was part of a larger neo-nazi infiltration in the German army.