Ikaika Kang – a Soldier Who Wanted to Join ISIS
Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, 34, a soldier from Hawaii, was arrested last weekend on terrorism charges after a year long investigation. He was formally charged on Monday in Federal Court. He was scheduled to appear on Thursday for a detention hearing, and is now being held in a Federal Detention Facility.
The FBI filed a 26 page affidavit against him on Monday. He allegedly filmed a combat training video for ISIS, and bought a drone to help them. He also reportedly stated that he wanted to “kill a bunch of people.” Nothing he did ever made it to the Islamic fighters, according to the FBI.
He enlisted in the Army shortly after 9-11-2001. He was deployed to South Korea for a year, then was deployed to Iraq in 2010. When he returned from that deployment in February of 2011, he was repeatedly reprimanded for threatening to kill servicemembers, and made pro-jihadist statements.
His father believes he suffered from PTSD, because he became withdrawn after returning home.
The Army revoked his security clearance in 2012. After compliance with the requirements, the security clearance was reinstated in 2013.
The investigation began in 2016 after the Army reported to the FBI that he seemed to become radicalized.
When he went to an Air Traffic Control School at Fort Rucker, Alabama in 2016, the Army searched his belongings and found classified information on his laptop. From there, the investigation led to actions and statements to undercover operatives that resulted in his arrest on July 8.
Why was he allowed to still be in the Army?
The Army knew from 2011 that Kang was showing support for ISIS. He is on record as making pro-ISIS statements at that time.
Kang could have been a ticking time bomb. The lives of other Army soldiers could have been at risk. He made statements like “wanting to tie him down and pour Drano in his eyes.”
He did not receive any money for passing classified information to the undercover operatives, even when it was offered.
Noel Tipton, a USMC veteran and attorney, says he thinks the Army wanted him to stay in so they could investigate any collaborators.
“They probably said ‘let’s monitor it and see if we can get a real terrorist cell.” Noel Tipton
The investigation took a long time because the FBI said they wanted to preserve evidence and Constitutional rights. Sometimes, however, waiting too long can leave a trail of dead people.