World & Nation

U.S. soldier arrested in Hawaii indicted on terrorism charges

In this July 8 image taken from FBI video, Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang holds an Islamic State flag after he is said to have pledged allegiance to the group at a Honolulu home.
(FBI / U.S Attorney’s Office, District of Hawaii)

A federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted a U.S. soldier Friday on suspicion of attempting to provide material support to Islamic State.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. Kang was ordered held without bail.

Kang will be arraigned in federal court Monday, when he previously had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing. Kang’s court-appointed attorney, Birney Bervar, told the Associated Press on Friday that the indictment was expected.

“We haven’t had a preliminary in federal court here in probably 25 years,” Bervar said. “They don’t like to let us question their witnesses.”


Bervar said his client will plead not guilty Monday. A federal judge will set a trial date.

Bervar said that he is working on getting Kang a mental health evaluation and that his client may suffer from service-related mental health issues.

A “turning point” for Kang’s mental state seems to be a 2011 deployment, Bervar said. “He’s a decorated American soldier for 10 years, goes to Afghanistan and comes back, and things start going off the rails.”

Elliot Enoki, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, and Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for National Security, announced the indictment in a statement.


Kang is charged with four counts of attempting to provide material support to Islamic State based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8, they said.

Federal officials say Kang met with undercover FBI agents he thought were with the terror group and provided classified military documents to the agents.

The FBI said in their criminal complaint that Kang wanted to commit a mass shooting after pledging allegiance to Islamic State.


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