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An ex-soldier who prosecutors allege enlisted to become better at killing Black people has been kicked out of the Army following an FBI investigation uncovering ties to White supremacist organizations and Nazi ideology.
According to CNN, Killian M. Ryan was arrested August 26 and charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement on his application for a secret security clearance. On the same day, he was also discharged from the Army for “serious misconduct,” said Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, an Army spokesman.
Prosecutors say Ryan operated social media accounts where he was in contact with extremists, including where he made the claim about why he decided to join the military.
“I serve for combat experience so I’m more proficient in killing n—–s,” Ryan wrote in one social media post on May 27, 2021. That comment was posted roughly two weeks after he enlisted in the Army. His personal email address at the time was “NaziAce1488,” a reference to Adolf Hitler and American white supremacy, according to Military.com.
The number 14 represents the words in the phrase “We must secure the existence of our people and the future for white children,” coined by David Lane, a convicted felon and leader of the now defunct white supremacist terrorist organization The Order. Lane died in prison in 2007. The 88 stands for “Heil Hitler,” with H being the eighth letter of the alphabet, according to extremism watchdog groups.
Many Military, Police, and government officials have been uncovered as members of Oath Keepers
More than 600 people from a recent Oath Keepers data leak were found to be either elected officials, law enforcement officers, military members, or first responders.
Ryan had been serving as a Fire Support Specialist and held the rank of Specialist upon discharge, Kelley said. A Fire Support Specialist gathers intelligence and enemy target positions to help the Army in deploying and firing artillery. The job requires a secret security clearance. Ryan had served with the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery and the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He had not deployed according to CNN.
He was arrested in Cumberland County, North Carolina, which includes Fayetteville and Fort Bragg, on one charge of knowingly making a false statement.
The former paratrooper was discharged for multiple driving under the influence of alcohol violations, according to a defense official, but prosecutors say they found far more serious issues during their investigation.
When investigators further probed the accounts, they noted that one of Ryan’s accounts had “been in contact with numerous accounts associated with racially motivated extremism,” court records said. The account username referenced Sigurd – a figure in Norse mythology that is sometimes co-opted by White supremacists – and an email registered to the account referenced Nazi ideology.
Better late than never, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has made rooting out the longstanding extremism in the military a top priority during the Biden Administration. Though the Pentagon insisted that extremism in the military was only a tiny fraction of service members, officials acknowledged that the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot was a “wake-up call” for the Defense Department.
Not long after taking office, Austin ordered a staggered pause in operations throughout the military. In what’s known internally as a stand down, leaders’ expectations of service member behavior have slowly ratcheted up as they review the Defense Department policies on extremism while reviewing social media and electronic records.