Hawaii Army sergeant arrested, charged with aiding Islamic State

Birney Bervar center addresses reporters outside the federal courthouse in Honolulu on Monday

Kang's court-appointed defense attorney, Birney Bervar, said it appears his client may suffer from service-related mental health issues of which the government was aware but neglected to treat. Bervar declined to elaborate.

1st Class Ikaika Kang was a decorated veteran of two deployments.

An FBI affidavit filed in court with the criminal complaint summarized a lengthy sting operation employing several undercover agents and other "confidential human sources" who posed as Islamic State operatives and sympathizers.

An active duty US soldier in Hawaii with the highest combat level training in the Army was arrested for providing material support for Islamic State. He told reporters the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed Kang was a lone actor and wasn't affiliated with anyone who poses a threat. Investigators say Kang pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and helped purchase a drone for the organization to use against American forces. He also alleged to attempt to teach some of the group combat skills to ISIS, and moreover, he has taken an oath of loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi shortly before his arrests made.

Kang was assigned to the headquarters of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.

The complaint says Kang used his high-level combat training and mixed-martial arts experience to train a person he believed to be a member of Islamic State and videotaping the sessions "so they could be used by [Islamic State] to train other fighters" and helped pay for a drone he believed would be used by Islamic State. He used his debit card to pay almost $1,400 for the drone, Go-Pro camera, and related equipment.

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A retired Army judge and prosecutor says he's perplexed that the Army allowed Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang to remain a soldier even after he made pro-Islamic State group comments.

His clearance was reinstated a year later after he completed military requirements. They charged him with "attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization". He also told the undercover that "Hitler was right, saying he believed in the mass killing of Jews".

His military service record said Kang was an air traffic control operator at Wheeler Army Airfield.

He was taken into custody that same day, the affidavit said.

Kang is from Hawaii, Delacourt said.

Kang enlisted in the Army in December 2001, just months after the September 11 attacks. He served in South Korea in 2002-2003. Military records show he served in Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014 and in Iraq from March 2010 to February 2011. He will face a detention hearing Thursday.

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