Highly-Trained US Soldier Arrested on Terrorism Charges
The 34-year-old from Hawaii made an initial appearance Monday in federal court and the FBI filed an affidavit outlining the evidence against him.
“Kang attempted to provide material support to ISIS by providing both classified military documents, and other sensitive but unclassified military documents, to persons he believed would pass the documents to ISIS,” read the affidavit signed by Special Agent Jimmy Chen.
“Kang did so with the intention that the documents would assist ISIS, including with fighting and military tactics,” it continues.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Delacourt said Kang is believed to be a lone actor and not associated with others who may threaten Hawaii.
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“Kang has been under investigation by the U.S. Army and the FBI for over a year. FBI assets and army investigative resources were continuously deployed to ensure the public’s safety during the course of this investigation and Kang’s eventual arrest,” said Delacourt in an FBI statement.
Chen’s 26-page affidavit detailed Kang’s dealings with undercover agents he believed worked for ISIS.
Agents arrested Kang the day he pledged his loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and told undercover agents he wanted to take his rifle, magazines, and kill “a bunch of people,” reads the affidavit.
Kang also helped make training videos and offered to provide combat training to ISIS fighters.
“The training sessions were relatively intense, technically advanced, and well-thought-out,” reads Chen’s affidavit.
Kang has received extensive combat training and has achieved Level IV Tactical Combat Instructor status, said the FBI.
“At the time of the events in this case, skill level IV was the highest level of training available, and required the completion of a 160-hour, four-week course,” reads the affidavit.
Kang also helped the undercover agents purchase a drone that was to be used to view battlefield positions so ISIS fighters could find avenues to escape from U.S. soldiers, it said.
Upon his arrest, Chen waived his miranda rights and told the agents the information he provided was old and that he was helping a non-governmental organization, not ISIS.
Kang, who was a trained air traffic controller based at Hawaii’s Wheeler Army Airfield, had his military clearance revoked in 2012 after he was reprimanded several times for making pro-Islamic State comments and threatening to hurt or kill fellow service members.
That clearance was reinstated the following year after he complied with requirements set out by the investigation.
The Army, which helped the FBI in its investigation, believed Kang only started becoming radicalized in 2016 and asked the FBI to investigate.
Kang had also made statements of wanting to torture the civilian that had his air traffic controllers license taken away and said the shooter at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida who killed 49 people “did what he had to do.”
Kang enlisted in the Army just months after the 9/11 attacks and told undercover agents he initially thought ISIS and al-Qaeda were “blood thirsty,” “baby eating” killers but later came to believe they were simply oppressed.
He was deployed to Iraq from March 2010 to February 2011 and Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014.
The Associated Press reports that Kang has another court appearance on Thursday.