The Hawaii-based soldier spoke clearly and with confidence.
“Your honor, I provided unclassified, classified documents to the Islamic State.”
Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, 35, pleaded guilty Wednesday before a U.S. magistrate in a Honolulu courtroom to trying to help the Islamic State group, admitting he provided secret military information, including a drone meant to track U.S. troops and other support, to undercover agents he believed were members of the terrorist organization, according to Time.
Kang provided significant amounts of digital documents that included sensitive information, such as a U.S. military weapons file and various military manuals, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson, a statement with which Kang agreed. Other documents Kang provided included call signs, mission procedures and radio frequencies, “all of which would have been helpful to ISIS,” Sorenson said.
Kang enlisted in the army after the 9/11 attack and was trained as an air traffic controller with a secret security clearance. But by 2016, the soldier had become sympathetic to ISIS. The FBI launched an investigation into Kang in August of that year after investigators collected enough evidence from sources he knew, worked with or lived with, according to the Time report.
The Inquisitr previously reported that the army passed along Kang’s name to the FBI, contending he made no attempts to hide his support for ISIS. Sorenson said that Kang swore allegiance to the group in Arabic and English and kissed an Islamic State flag at one of the meetings with agents the U.S. soldier believed belonged to the Islamic State.
Kang then said he wanted to get his rifle and fight — “just go to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki strip and start shooting,” prosecutors said in a news release announcing the plea. The former soldier also showed sympathy for the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter by saying he “did what he had to do.” He was arrested in July 2017.
Kang was reportedly obsessed with videos depicting terrorism beheadings, suicide bombings, and other violence, which he would watch in his bedroom for hours every day, according to Fox News, citing information provided to investigators by a confidential informant.
“He was clearly enticed. But the law of entrapment is quite complex and often very difficult for the defense to prove,” Kang’s defense attorney, Birney Bervar, said after the hearing, as reported by Time.
In exchange for his plea of guilty, prosecutors said they won’t go after other charges against Kang, including violations of the espionage act, other terrorism-related laws, and federal firearms statutes.