By Debbie Gregory.
Accused ISIS sympathizer Sgt. Ikaika Erik Kang, a former air traffic control operator with the 25th Infantry Division at U.S. Army Pacific Command was planning to join ISIS and attack Schofield Barracks as a suicide bomber, according to documents unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court.
The 35 year-old Kang has been charged with trying to provide ISIS with a training video of fighting techniques, classified U.S. military documents and military gear. He had begun making threatening remarks and pro-ISIS statements as early as 2011, and had been under FBI surveillance for almost a year before his arrest.
A search of computer hard drives belonging to Kang revealed 18 military documents marked “SECRET.” Also found were almost 500 documents that referred to ISIS or violence, including 13 issues of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, the FBI said.
An undercover FBI operative who had been communicating with Kang reported that Kang said he wanted to travel to Turkey because ISIS had a consulate there, and discussed the possibility of joining and fighting for the terrorist organization.
Kang has served extensively in overseas operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea, and has been awarded several commendations.
Kang’s father, Clifford, said his son graduated from high school with honors in 2001 and enlisted in the Army after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
After the younger Kang converted to Islam, he would teach his father the Koran when he was home and living in Hawaii.
“I listened to him, but other than teaching or learning that belief, there was no mention of him going astray,” Clifford said.
When the elder Kang heard about the charges, he said he was “just in shock.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 24th.