AP

FBI: Soldier linked to racist post, online extremism

Sep 8, 2022, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm

A soldier in the U.S. Army wrote on Instagram that he joined the military “for combat experience so I’m more proficient in killing” Black people, investigators say.

Killian Mackeithan Ryan also had five Instagram accounts that were in contact with others “associated with racially motivated extremism,” according to court records.

Ryan’s alleged social media activity is documented in a case filed late last month in U.S. District Court in North Carolina that accuses him of providing false information on a security clearance form to serve at Fort Bragg.

The case was first reported by Rolling Stone and comes at a time when the U.S. military is trying to purge its ranks of extremists and white supremacists.

For example, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed commanding officers last year to institute a one-day stand-down to address extremism. The military also updated its social media policy where liking and reposting certain content could result in disciplinary action.

And just this week, the names of more than 100 current military members appeared on the leaked membership rolls of a far-right extremist group that’s accused of playing a key role in last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Ryan is accused of claiming on the security clearance form that he wasn’t in contact with his biological father for more than 10 years, according to court records. He also said that his biological father wasn’t listed on his birth certificate.

Ryan’s biological father is a convicted felon with a criminal history in Washington state and California for drug violations and auto theft, according to court records.

Ryan was investigated by a police officer in Fayetteville, North Carolina, who works as part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Ryan served in the regular Army at Fort Bragg until his arrest by the FBI on Aug. 26 and “was separated for serious misconduct,” U.S. Army officials said in a statement.

The statement did not elaborate on what the misconduct was. Ryan was also charged with driving under the influence at Fort Bragg in July, according to court documents.

The Army said the FBI informed it earlier this year that Ryan was under investigation.

“The U.S. Army does not tolerate racism, extremism or hatred in our ranks,” its statement said.

Ryan served as a fire support specialist, which is someone who gathers intelligence on enemy targets for artillery forces. The Army said he had no deployments.

For one of his Instagram accounts, Ryan used an email that contained the name “naziace1488,” according to court records.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 1488 is a combination of numeric symbols that are popular among white supremacists.

The first is the number 14, which is shorthand for a 14-word slogan about the “future for white children,” the ADL said. The second is 88, which stands for “Heil Hitler” because H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, the ADL said.

Ryan was in touch with his biological father through Instagram, court records stated. His father also posted a photo of the two at Ryan’s high school graduation in 2019.

Legal experts say that Ryan could have jeopardized his security clearance if he listed recent contact with his biological father.

“They’re looking at the potential for you to be compromised in any way because of your personal situation,” said Colby Vokey, a military criminal defense lawyer.

Ryan would have needed clearance to work with intelligence on enemy positions as well as information about U.S. weapons systems, Vokey added.

Phillip Stackhouse, another military criminal defense lawyer, said prosecuting someone for providing false information on a security clearance form is not routine in his experience. Many people often just have their clearance revoked without being charged.

“Maybe they’re going to make an example of him,” Stackhouse said of Ryan. “Maybe it’s to apply pressure on him to cooperate in some other investigation.”

Ryan’s federal public defender, James E. Todd , Jr., did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday.

3 days ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

3 days ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

3 days ago

Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements in his criminal trial for allegedly covering u...

Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York over alleged hush money payments started with opening statements on Monday.

3 days ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

6 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

FBI: Soldier linked to racist post, online extremism