Schofield soldier arrested on terrorism charges, accused of supporting ISIS

An active-duty soldier assigned to Schofield Barracks appeared in federal court Monday on terrorism charges.

Ikaika Kang, 34, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. In court, he was heavily guarded with his hands and legs shackled.

The Royal Kunia resident is accused of providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“Kang has been under investigation by the U.S. Army and the FBI for over a year. FBI assets and Army investigative resources were continuously deployed to ensure the public’s safety during the course of this investigation and Kang’s eventual arrest,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Delacourt. “No document from the military made it to ISIS.”

A criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii alleges that Kang swore allegiance to ISIS, attempted to provide military documents to ISIS, and attempted to provide training to the terrorist organization:

KANG attempted to provide material support to ISIS by providing both classified military documents, and other sensitive but unclassified military documents, to persons he believed would pass the documents to ISIS. KANG did so with the intention that the documents would assist ISIS, including with fighting and military tactics. Additionally, KANG contributed to the purchase of a drone with the intention that it would be provided to, and used by, ISIS during fighting.

KANG further attempted to provide material support to ISIS by conducting expert military-style combatives training to a person who purported to be a member of ISIS. At KANG’s suggestion, the sessions were videotaped so they could be used by ISIS to train other fighters. KANG mentioned repeatedly through the investigation to multiple persons that he wanted to provide training for ISIS fighters. …

On July 8, 2017, KANG was arrested by the FBI without a warrant, based on probable cause that he had committed the crimes described herein, having just sworn bayat to ISIS and expressed a desire to kill ‘a bunch of people.'”

View copies of the official documents: Complaint | Affidavit

Court records show that Kang had displayed radical views in the years past while he was in the Army.

In 2011, he was reported for having pro-ISIS views. His security clearance was revoked in 2012 and reinstated a year later.

Court records reveal that Kang publicly showed his extremist views, like “conducting research on YouTube about the most effective and painful ways people had been tortured.”

But it wasn’t until early 2016 when the Army determined that Kang was becoming radicalized. Officials then contacted the FBI in August 2016, which prompted the investigation that led to his arrest on Saturday.

Authorities say Kang is from Hawaii and a sergeant first class assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.

“He was trained as an air traffic controller and trained in combative,” said Delacourt.

Currently, the FBI believes that Kang was a lone actor and that he has not associated with others who present a threat to Hawaii.

Note that a criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.

KHON2 spoke to Kang’s father, Clifford Kang, outside his Kailua home Monday afternoon.

He described his son as a nice, quiet boy from Waimanalo who liked to surf.

Clifford Kang told us Ikaika Kang was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Ikaika Kang was a practicing Muslim, but Clifford Kang says he never heard his son speak about ISIS.

“I told him I was very concerned when he came back from Afghanistan and Iraq that maybe he had PTSD. I felt if there is anyone who knows a little about PTSD, it’s me, because I’ve been up here 20 years with Vietnam veterans, with the VA. He said, ‘No, no, I’m all right, I’m all right,'” he said.

Clifford Kang says he last saw his son about a month ago, when he came over for lunch.

“I found him a little bit into himself, not really outgoing,” he said. “I was concerned about that, so I kind of watched him. You’d say a joke and he didn’t think it was funny. I understand, give him time, give him time. He’ll get back to normal civilian life.”

Clifford Kang says he’ll be in court for his son’s next appearance on Thursday.

According to the U.S. Army, Kang enlisted in December 2001.

His awards and decorations include:

  • 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
  • Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2nd Award)
  • Army Service Ribbon Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd Award)
  • Certificate of Achievement (2nd Award)
  • Senior Aircraft Crewman Badge
  • Aviation Badge
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Marine Qualification Expert Rifle Badge

This is not the first time a Hawaii resident has been accused of leaking classified information.

We were the first to break the story in 2013 of Benjamin Bishop, a former defense contractor who leaked government secrets to his Chinese girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to espionage charges in 2014, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In 2011, Maui resident Noshir Gowadia was sentenced to 32 years in prison for selling classified U.S. secrets to the Chinese. Gowadia was one of the creators of the B-2 stealth bomber. He was first arrested in October 2005.

Joy Shimamoto, a licensed clinical psychologist, offers this list of signs and symptoms of PTSD:

1) Fear and anxiety,
2) Re-experiencing of the trauma,
3) Feeling jumpy/jittery/shaky/easily startled,
4) Avoidance of situations that remind the victim of the trauma,
5) Anger and irritability,
6) Guilt and shame,
7) Grief and depression,
8) Self-image and views of the world become more negative, and
9) Use of alcohol or substances.

Resources and tips:

Visit Hawaii Psychological Association’s website to find a list of psychologists.

Contact your insurance carrier.

Visit Psychology Today’s website to find a therapist.

Ask your primary care physician for a referral.

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