Highly-Decorated Hawaiian Soldier Arrested for Pledging Allegiance to ISIS

A highly-decorated U.S. Army soldier from Hawaii has recently been arrested for alleged ties to terrorists.

Ikaika Erik Kang was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the FBI.

A recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the 34-year-old was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and Iraq in 2011 as indicated in his service record, CBS News reported. 

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Kang, who was arrested on Saturday, allegedly attempted to provide military documents and training to ISIS. The complaint further alleged that Kang swore allegiance to ISIS and told an undercover federal agent he wanted to “kill a bunch of people.”

He was still on active duty and stationed at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu at the time of his arrest.

Apparently, Kang has been the subject of a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Army for a year now. With regards to his supposed ISIS ties, authorities believe that Kang acted alone and was not associated with others who might present a threat to Hawaii.

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According to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii in support of the criminal complaint against Kang, he had made threatening statements as far back as 2011.

In an interview with KGMB-TV, Kang’s father, Clifford Kang, said he’s “just in shock. He’s a great kid. He’s not real outgoing, he’s never been, but neither was I. But other than that he’s a great kid, a normal kid who grew up in Waimanalo.”

He noted that his son may have been suffering from PTSD from his previous overseas tours.

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In a separate interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, he revealed that his son started studying the Muslim faith during one of his deployments.

According to Hawaii News, Kang’s military records show that he received the following awards over the course of his military career:

Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal (4th Award)
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal

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Birney Bervar, the defense attorney for the accused, said his client is apparently suffering from service-related mental health issues the government was aware but did not help treat.

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