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Hawaii Army Sergeant Arrested And Charged With Aiding ISIS
An Army sergeant in Hawaii has been charged with attempting to provide classified military documents and training to the Islamic State, according to a report by NBC News.
Sgt. Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, an air traffic control operator with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, was arrested Saturday by an FBI SWAT team after year-long surveillance, the report said, citing court records that were unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
He is charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
The Army had reported Kang to the FBI in August 2016, saying he had been making threatening statements and pro-ISIS comments as early as 2011, NBC said, citing an FBI affidavit in the criminal complaint.
The affidavit said Kang has the Army’s highest level of combat instructor training, and he used his knowledge to train another person believed to be an ISIS member.
The training sessions were videotaped so they could be used to train other ISIS fighters, the affidavit said.
Kang’s security clearance was briefly revoked in 2012, NBC said.
An undercover FBI operative reported that Kang had been researching “the most effective and painful ways people had been tortured,” the affidavit said.
Kang also expressed a desire to torture a civilian he held responsible for taking away his air traffic controller’s license, the affidavit said.
Kang had expressed sympathy for the shooter at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., remarking that “the shooter did what he had to do,” the affidavit said.
Investigators found 18 military documents classified as “secret” on hard drives belonging to Kang, NBC said. They also found nearly 500 documents referring to ISIS or violence. Some were from the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire.
The FBI said last month Kang bought a retail drone with a camera that he said could be used by ISIS fighters to escape from approaching U.S. tanks, NBC said.
Kang was arrested Saturday after swearing a pledge of loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, NBC said.
Kang is a native of Oahu and graduated high school with honors. He enlisted in the Army after the 9/11 attacks. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea.
He appeared in federal court Monday afternoon and is being held pending a detention hearing on Thursday, with a preliminary hearing set for July 24, NBC said.
©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Senior defense officials offered a wide range of excuses to reporters on Wednesday about why they may not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 7, lawmakers subpoenaed information about military aid to Ukraine. Eight days later, a Pentagon official told them to pound sand in part because many of the documents requested are communications with the White House that are protected by executive privilege.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.