An Army soldier based in Hawaii pleaded guilty this week to four counts of attempting to support ISIS, as well as trying to provide secret documents to the terrorist group.
Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, 35, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Reuters reported Thursday. He pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to the plea deal with federal prosecutors to serve 25 years in prison and an additional 20 years minimum of supervised release.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement, “Kang swore to defend the United States as a member of our military, but betrayed his country by swearing allegiance to ISIS and attempting to provide material support to the foreign terrorist organization,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Court documents revealed that Kang began dabbling in the Muslim religion back in 2014. He joined the U.S. military for a “paycheck” and was very excited to move to the Middle East and join ISIS, Fox News had reported.
According to court documents, Kang had handed over classified military material to undercover agents posing as ISIS members. He also pledged allegiance to ISIS and kissed an ISIS flag when he met with undercover agents at a house in Honolulu.
A confidential informant told officials that Kang withdrew to his room and spent countless hours watching videos of beheadings and other ISIS violence.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 11, 2017
Kang confided in the informant and shared that if he could join ISIS, he would be a suicide bomber and attack Schofield Barracks, an expansive Army base outside Honolulu.
A statement by the Department of Justice reads: “Kang met with undercover agents of the FBI whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS and provided military information, some of which was classified at the SECRET level. Kang is also charged with providing property (a drone, military clothing and equipment) and training (instruction on combat techniques and weapons training which was videotaped for future use by ISIS) to undercover agents whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS.”
Kang has been in jail without bond since last year following his arrest.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) August 22, 2018
His service record indicates he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and Iraq in 2011. Kang was a decorated soldier, and he was also awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.