US Soldier Caught Pledging Allegiance to the Islamic State
HONOLULU, HAWAII — August 29, 2018
A soldier based in Hawaii fully admitted his guilt of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group and to attempting to support the terrorist group.
According to the prosecutors, Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang met with undercover agents he believed were part of the Islamic State group, prosecutors said. He is accused of providing them with classified military information, a drone, military equipment and training in combat fighting.
After the meeting, Kang pledged allegiance to the group and kissed an Islamic State flag, according to court documents.
The agent, who called himself the ISIS member, said that Kang had become obsessed with videos depicting terrorism beheadings, suicide bombings, and other violence, and he watched them in his bedroom for hours every day. The military agents put a tracking device on the soldier’s car during an investigation that led to the indictment.
According to an agent, Kang also watched other violent videos for four to five hours each day during the week and even more on the weekends. The informant confessed he "remembered feeling sick to his stomach, while Kang laughed and insulted the victims."
Kang repeatedly told the informant he's ready to become an Islamic State member and that he planned to be a suicide bomber and attack Schofield Barracks, a sprawling Army base outside Honolulu.
During the first week of September 2016, Kang told the informant “that if he were to do something like shoot up a large gathering, it would be out of his hatred for white people, the wicked and non-Muslims.”
Kang confessed he couldn’t wait to move to the Middle East to “join the cause” and was “only in the military for a paycheck,” the informant said. The soldier apparently began researching Islam in 2014.
The data was handed over the U.S. government, and the judge to allow a tracking device to be placed on Kang’s car in October 2016, applying for several extensions after orders granting the trace expired. Agents said in their applications for a tracking device that they needed to monitor him continuously because they feared he would carry out an attack.
The tracking of the soldier lasted a little more than a year, and when in May 2017 he had to return from leave, he was arrested — "the same day as a change-of-command ceremony," the affidavit said. Now he is agreeing to a 25-year sentence for charges that could have put him in prison for life.
Kang has been held without bail since his arrest. Kang's lawyer has previously said the soldier may suffer from service-related mental health issues that the government was aware of but neglected to treat.