An FBI inquiry discovered ties to White supremacist organizations and Nazi philosophy, leading to the dismissal of a former soldier who, according to prosecutors, claimed he enlisted to grow better at killing Black people.
Court documents show that on August 26th, Killian M. Ryan was arrested and charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement on his application for a secret security clearance. Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, an Army spokesperson, claimed that he was fired the same day for “severe misconduct.”
It has been claimed by prosecutors that Ryan made his astonishing assertion about why he joined the military on one of the social media profiles he used to communicate with extremists.
According to Kelley, before Ryan was released, he served in the military as a Fire Support Specialist and attained the rank of Specialist. The Army relies on the information gathered by Fire Support Specialists in order to accurately place and fire artillery at enemy locations. The position calls for top-secret clearance. Ryan’s military experience included time with the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery and the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. In other words, he had not yet deployed.
A defense official claims the ex-paratrooper was discharged for repeated DUI offenses, but prosecutors claim they uncovered much more significant issues throughout their inquiry.
In May of 2020, Ryan applied for a top secret security clearance and allegedly stated that he had not spoken to his convicted drug dealer and car thief father in over a decade.
However, detectives uncovered a web of social media profiles all purportedly belonging to Ryan and used to maintain touch with his dad over the course of a decade. According to the court documents, they also discovered current pictures of Ryan and his father.
According to court filings, investigators found that one of Ryan’s accounts “had been in communication with many accounts affiliated with racially motivated extremism.” The account’s moniker alludes to Sigurd, a Norse mythological character commonly appropriated by White racists, and the associated email address makes a number of references to Nazi philosophy.
According to another report, Ryan wrote on his account, “I serve for battle experience so I’m more proficient in killing n*****s.” Ryan used an email address that featured the string “naziace1488” when he created several of these profiles, according to investigators.
CNN has contacted Ryan’s legal representation for comment.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has made it a priority to eliminate extremism in the armed forces. Although Pentagon authorities emphasized that extremism only represented a small percentage of service members, they recognized that the January 6, 2021 incident in the Capitol served as a “wake-up call” for the Defense Department.
According to CNN’s investigation of Pentagon and Justice Department documents, at least 95 of those indicted in connection with the January 6 rebellion were active duty or veteran members of the United States armed forces.
Soon after assuming office, Austin ordered a stand down, or temporary halt in operations, across the force to examine Defense Department policy on extremism and reiterate leaders’ expectations of behavior for service members.
The Pentagon subsequently produced a more precise, clearer description of extremist activity late last year, which included, for the first time, recommendations for how to handle extremist content on social media.