US soldier charged with trying to provide support to IS

AFP , Tuesday 11 Jul 2017

A US soldier based in Hawaii has been arrested on charges he swore allegiance to the Islamic State and tried to provide jihadists with documents and training, the FBI said Monday.

Ikaika Kang, 34, was detained on Saturday after he swore allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the presence of a undercover agent, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

"Currently, the FBI believes that Kang was a lone actor and that he has not associated with others who present a threat to Hawaii," the agency said.

Kang's behavior had been suspect for years, it said.

"He was reprimanded on several occasions for threatening to hurt or kill other service members, and for arguing pro-ISIS views while at work and on-post," the affidavit said.

"Due to these remarks and threats, Kang's security clearance was revoked in 2012, but reinstated the following year after Kang complied with military requirements stemming from the investigation."

Kang was most recently working as an air traffic control operator. He had served about a year in Iraq in 2010-2011 and nine months in Afghanistan in 2013-2014, according to the Pentagon.

The soldier told a confidential informant that the gunman who killed 49 people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub last year "did what he had to do and later said that America is the only terrorist organization in the world," the affidavit stated.

Kang also told the informant that "Hitler was right saying he believed in the mass killing of Jews."

After taking the IS pledge, Kang told a confidential source that he wanted kill "a bunch of people."

He owned an AR-15 assault rifle and a .40-caliber handgun and had also received extensive combat training, the FBI said.

Kang had given military documents to individuals who told him they would be passed along to the Islamic State group.

He also made combat training videos for IS and helped purchase a drone that he said jihadist fighters could use to survey US tank positions.

Kang was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State group.

"Kang has been under investigation by the US Army and the FBI for over a year," FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Delacourt said in a statement.

Defense attorney Birney Bervar told Hawaii News Now that Kang may suffer from mental health issues related to his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan "which the government was aware of but neglected to treat."

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