A decorated U.S. soldier who once received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal was arrested for allegedly pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group and trying to provide them with classified military documents, combat training, and a drone, according to court documents made public Monday.
Ikaika Erik Kang, a 34 year-old air traffic controller in the 25th Infantry Division stationed in Oahu, Hawaii, had been under investigation by the FBI for over a year in connection to ISIS, according to the documents.
The affidavit by FBI Special Agent Jimmy Chen, filed to United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, alleges Kang copied classified military documents onto a hard drive, which was intercepted by undercover cops when he tried to give them to ISIS. The affidavit also alleges that Kang helped train someone who claimed they were part of ISIS, and suggested the two film the trainings to be used by other ISIS members.
In all, the FBI found nearly 500 documents referencing ISIS, ISIL, or violence on an external hard drive, including 13 issues of al-Qaeda’s English-language Inspire Magazine.
“Terrorism is the FBI’s number one priority,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Delacourt said in a statement. “In fighting this threat, the Honolulu Division of the FBI works with its law enforcement partners and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In this case, the FBI worked closely with the U.S. Army to protect the citizens of Hawaii.”
Kang, who served in Iraq between March 2010 and February 2011, and in Afghanistan between July 2013 and April 2014, started behaving suspiciously sometime in 2011. His security clearance was revoked in 2012 after he allegedly espoused “pro-ISIS views” at work and threatened to injure or kill fellow military officers. Kang also told people that 9/11 was an inside job and that he thought about martyrdom, according to the FBI.
This past March, Kang allegedly told an undercover cop that the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter “did what he had to do and later said that America is the only terrorist organization in the world,” according to the FBI. The Army told the FBI that it appeared Kang was becoming radicalized in 2016 and they handed matters over, the FBI said.
Clifford Kang, Kang’s father, told local news outlets that he was “in shock” at the allegations against his son and that Kang was “a great kid, a normal kid who grew up in Waimanalo.”