Hawaii Soldier To Plead Guilty To Supporting ISIS After Sting Operation

Bullet Points
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

A Hawaii-based Army soldier will plead guilty to supporting the Islamic State, his attorney said.


  • Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang was arrested last year after an Army and FBI investigation, part of which took place at Alabama's Fort Rucker. At the time of his arrest, Kang was an active duty air traffic controller assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii.
  • Assistant Honolulu Federal Defender Alexander Silvert told the AP it isn't clear which charges Kang will be pleading to. A plea agreement hasn't been filed in court.
  • According to court documents, the FBI searched Kang's lodging and computers in 2016 while he was attending a six weeks course for senior enlisted leaders at Fort Rucker. The computers, according to the filing, contained 18 military documents labeled "secret," with files dating back to 2013. Investigators also found more than 2,000 videos, documents, and graphics that referenced ISIS or violence.
  • Kang, 35, also reportedly told an undercover agent at Fort Rucker that he wanted to travel to Turkey to reach the Islamic State consulate and join in fighting with the terrorist group.
  • Subsequent searches of Kang's computers and home in Hawaii revealed more ISIS-related material and classified military documents, according to the filing. Prosecutors later said he took an oath of loyalty to the Islamic terrorist group and expressed a desire to "take his rifle, his magazines and kill a bunch of people.'"
  • Kang, who grew up in Hawaii, enlisted in the Army in December 2001, just months after the Sept. 11 attacks. He served in South Korea from 2002 to 2003. He deployed to Iraq from March 2010 to February 2011 and Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014.
  • He is scheduled to officially enter his plea Thursday.

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Then the rhythmic clapping begins.

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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.

"We do not know where they are," James Jeffrey told members of Congress of the 100+ escaped detainees. ISIS has about 18,000 "members" left in Iraq and Syria, according to recent Pentagon estimates.

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."

Trump said that "small number of U.S. troops" would remain in Syria to protect oilfields.


Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo(

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Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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