A US soldier from Hawaii was sentenced to 25 years in jail for attempting to help ISIS.
Addressing the court, Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang said, “I know what I did was wrong. I admit to doing it. If released, I’ll never do it again.”
Kang, a convert to Isalm, will have 20 years of supervision when he is released according to a plea bargain Kang make with prosecutors to avoid a life sentence.
Kang grew up in Waimanalo and enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school in 2001. Authorities watched him for a year before they sent in an FBI SWAT team to arrest him in July 2017. He was charged with seeking to provide classified military documents and support to the Islamic State terror organization.
Kang began making threatening remarks and voicing his support for ISIS in 2011. Right before his arrest, he pledged loyalty to ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying he wanted to kill “a bunch of people.” He also used his top-level combat training to instruct a person he believed was a member of the terror group.
A search of his computer by authorities yielded 18 military documents labeled “SECRET.” Sixteen of those documents were classified. In addition, authorities found close to 500 documents related to ISIS or violence, including the al-Qaeda English-language magazine Inspire.
Kang made statements to an undercover operative about traveling to Turkey and the possibility of joining and fighting for ISIS. To the same operative, he said the Pulse nightclub shooter “did what he had to do” and “America is the only terrorist organization in the world.”
He expressed support for the mass killing of Jews, saying, “Hitler was right.”
After his air-traffic controller’s license was temporarily taken away, he expressed a desire to torture the person responsible and researched the most effective and painful torture methods.
Kang also bought a commercial drone outfitted with a camera, saying it could be used by ISIS fighters to escape U.S. tanks.
He was in the possession of two registered firearms at the time of his arrest.
Kang enlisted in the military after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was a veteran of two deployments to the Middle East – one in Iraq in 2010 and another in Afghanistan in 2014 and was the recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He worked as an air-traffic controller for the army in Hawaii.