Ikaika Erik Kang, a soldier stationed in Hawaii was arrested by an FBI SWAT team after it was discovered that he had pledged his allegiance to ISIS and had tried to steal strategic information to pass on to ISIS. Kang won decorations for valor but then he converted to Islam and he pledged himself to ISIS.
The FBI field office in Honolulu stated that the 34-year-old active-duty soldier is stationed at the Schofield Barracks and appeared in court Monday regarding allegations of terror links, USA Today reports.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii, Kang, part of the 25th Infantry Division, pledged allegiance to ISIS. Moreover, Kang also attempted to provide military documents to ISIS contacts, authorities allege.
Unlike other service members apprehended due to terror connections, Sgt. 1st Class Kang had a long record of service, having been awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal, among others. He deployed to Iraq in 2010 and Afghanistan in 2014.
“Terrorism is the FBI’s number one priority,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Delacourt said in a statement. “In fighting this threat, the Honolulu Division of the FBI works with its law enforcement partners and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In this case, the FBI worked closely with the U.S. Army to protect the citizens of Hawaii.”
Prior to his arrest, Kang worked as an air traffic control operator.
The Army and FBI had been investigating Kang for more than a year. They believe he was a lone actor.