The Department of Justice announced late Wednesday a U.S. soldier pleaded guilty to providing material support to ISIS. That soldier is 35-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Ikaika Erik Kang. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
“Kang swore to defend the United States as a member of our military, but betrayed his country by swearing allegiance to ISIS and attempting to provide material support to the foreign terrorist organization,” Assistant Attorney General Demers said about the case. “With today’s plea, he will be held accountable for his crimes. I want to thank all of the agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
Kang pleaded guilty to watching ISIS recruitment videos and the brutal executions of innocent civilians. After swearing a loyalty oath to the terrorist organization and vowing to carry out acts of violence, Kang met with undercover FBI agents he believed were connected to ISIS and gave them classified U.S. military information.
According to DOJ, the documents Kang provided "included, among other things: classified air traffic control documents that describe call signs, aircraft types, route points, directives, mission procedures, and radio frequencies; the U.S. military’s 'weapons file,' which describes all the armament capabilities of the U.S. armed forces; details about a sensitive mobile airspace management system used by the U.S. military; and documents containing personally identifiable information of U.S. service members."
In addition, "Kang later provided the undercover agents with a commercially purchased small aerial drone, a military chest rig, and other military-style clothing and gear," and "described how ISIS could operationally utilize the drone to track U.S. troop movements and gain tactical advantage by evading American armored vehicles."
“This is the first case in the State of Hawaii where someone was convicted of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,” Special Agent in Charge of Honolulu Sean Kaul said. “This should serve as reminder that even though we are 2,500 miles from the U.S. Mainland, these crimes can and do happen everywhere. I would like to personally thank the United States Attorney’s Office, the Unites States Army, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Honolulu Police Department, and the entire Joint Terrorism Task Force Community here in Hawaii for bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion. Today, our community is a safer place due to their tireless efforts.”
Kang was indicted in 2017 and as part of his plea agreement will serve 25 years in federal prison. After that, he'll spend the rest of his life on supervised release.
“This Office will vigorously prosecute anyone who attempts to provide material support to terrorists who seek to spread fear and cause mayhem in our communities through senseless acts of violence,” U.S. Attorney Kenji Price said. “The prosecutors and law enforcement agencies who brought the defendant to justice in this case work shoulder-to-shoulder, every day, promoting our national security interests and keeping our communities safe.”