Sgt. Ikaika Erik Kang was arrested in Honolulu on Saturday and charged with attempting to provide classified military documents and training to the Islamic State, court records unsealed Monday said.
The 34-year-old is an air traffic control operator with the 25th Infantry Division at the U.S. Army Pacific Command. He was under investigation for a year, the records show, and the FBI said authorities arrested him Saturday shortly after he pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and said he wanted to "kill a bunch of people." Court documents say he was referred to the FBI by the Army in August 2016, several years after he began making threatening remarks and pro-ISIS statements.
Kang had the highest level of combat instructor training, the FBI affidavit said, and gave lessons to a person he believed was a member of ISIS, taping their trainings so they could be shown to other ISIS fighters. The FBI also said it searched computer hard drives belonging to Kang, and discovered 18 military documents labeled "Secret," with 16 of those still classified. They also found close to 500 documents that reference ISIS or violence, and 13 issues of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine.
Kang's father, Clifford, told KHNL his son grew up on Oahu and enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He served in Afghanistan, South Korea, and Iraq, and received several commendations. Birney Bervar, Kang's attorney, said he "may have some service-related mental health issues which the government was aware of, but neglected to treat." A preliminary hearing is set for July 24.