SWAT team arrests US soldier for supporting ISIS

US soldiers
US soldiers

An FBI spokesman on Monday confirmed that a SWAT team arrested a soldier in Hawaii over the weekend and charged him with supporting ISIS.

FBI Honolulu spokesman Arnold Laanui confirmed the agents arrested Ikaika Erik Kang, a 34-year-old Army soldier stationed at Schofield Barracks on Saturday.

In a release, the FBI said it had worked closely with the Army in this case. The statement said the investigation by the FBI and the Army had been going on for more than a year.

The FBI said it believed he was a “lone actor” and that Kang was arrested for “providing material support” to ISIS.
Kang is an active duty Army air traffic control operator assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii. Kang’s service records showed he was deployed to Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014 and served in Iraq from March 2010 to February 2011. He has received a range of medals in the course of his service, including the Army Commendation Medal.

An attorney representing Kang referenced possible untreated mental health issues when reached for a comment.
“It would appear that Sgt. Kang, a decorated veteran of two deployments to the Middle East, may have some service-related mental health issues which the government was aware of, but neglected to treat,” said the attorney, Birney Bervar, in an email.

The criminal complaint filed against Kang alleged he swore allegiance to ISIS and tried to provide ISIS with both military documents and training. The complaint said Kang made threats and pro-ISIS arguments while in the Army and that his security clearance was revoked temporarily in response to those actions in 2012. The Army noted his apparent radicalization to the FBI last year. The complaint said after his arrest, Kang waived his Miranda rights and admitted he had pledged to join ISIS and attempted to aid the group.

The complaint alleged Kang spoke with several undercover FBI agents purporting to be connected to ISIS. The complaint said he told one about a desire to join ISIS and offered to provide military documents and demonstrate martial arts techniques to another.

This May, a US Air Force veteran was sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempting to join ISIS. Authorities arrested the veteran in New Jersey in 2015.

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