Hawaii grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism charges for trying to aid ISIS

A federal grand in Hawaii indicted a U.S. soldier on Friday for allegedly attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. Kang was ordered held without bail. Kang was employed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Kang will be arraigned in federal court on Monday, which is when he had previously been scheduled for a preliminary hearing. Kang’s court-appointed attorney, Birney Bervar, told The Associated Press Friday that the indictment was expected.


“We haven’t had a preliminary in federal court here in probably 25 years,” Bervar told The Associated Press. “They don’t like to let us question their witnesses.”

Bervar said the soldier would plead not guilty on Monday when a federal judge will set a trial date.

The soldier faces "a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each count," according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice National Security Division.

Ikaika Kang was seen kissing the ISIS flag then putting it to his forehead after allegedly pledging allegiance to the terror group.

Ikaika Kang was seen kissing the ISIS flag then putting it to his forehead after allegedly pledging allegiance to the terror group. (AP)

Bervar said Kang’s mental state was never the same following his 2011 deployment.

“He’s a decorated American soldier for 10 years, goes to Afghanistan and comes back and things start going off the rails.”

According to an FBI affidavit, Kang’s behavior was obvious to those around him, the Washington Post reported.


“He was reprimanded on several occasions for threatening to hurt or kill other service members, and for arguing pro-ISIS views while at work and on-post,” according to the affidavit. “Due to these remarks and threats, Kang’s security clearance was revoked in 2012, but reinstated the following year after Kang complied with military requirements stemming from the investigation.”

Elliot Enoki, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, and Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security, announced the indictment in a statement.

Kang has been charged with four counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8, they said.

Federal officials said Kang met with undercover FBI agents he thought were with the terror group and provided classified military documents to the agents.

According to the affidavit, Kang provided the materials hoping 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.”

The FBI said in their criminal complaint that Kang wanted to commit a mass shooting after allegedly pledging allegiance to ISIS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.