Hawaii Army Sergeant Arrested And Charged With Aiding ISIS

news
A 2001 high school photo of Army Sgt. Ikaika Erik Kang. Now 34, Kang was arrested and charged with providing material aid to ISIS on July 8.
Screenshot KGMB-TV

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.

WATCH NOW:

———

©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Chief Mass Communication Spc. Keith DeVinney sleeps between exercises during Fleet Combat Camera Pacific's Winter Quick Shot 2013 combined field training exercise in the Angeles National Forest near Azusa, Calif., Feb. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair)

(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.

"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.

Read More Show Less
The Armed Forces Service Medal has a green, blue and yellow ribbon and a bronze medal featuring a torch like that held by the Statue of Liberty. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."

The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.

There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.

Read More Show Less
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less