Last week the presence of a Muslim such as Ikaika Kang in the U.S. Army would have been held up as evidence that concern about the loyalties of Muslims in the U.S. was sheer “Islamophobia.” Not today
HONOLULU – An active duty Hawaii soldier has been arrested for allegedly trying to provide material support and training to the Islamic State terrorist group.
FBI special agents and SWAT arrested Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, on Saturday evening at his Waipahu apartment.
Authorities said they believe Kang was a “lone actor,” and “not associated with others who present a threat to Hawaii.”
“Kang has been under investigation by the U.S. Army and the FBI for over a year,” Honolulu FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Delacourt said. “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.”
Kang, a 2001 graduate of Kaiser High School, is assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks.
His rank was sergeant first class, and he enlisted in December 2001, just months after the 9/11 attacks.
Kang’s father, Clifford, said he’s shocked by the allegations against his son.
“He’s a great kid. He’s not real outgoing, he’s never been, but neither was I,” Kang told Hawaii News Now. “But other than that he’s a great kid, a normal kid who grew up in Waimanalo.”
His father also believes his son may be suffering from PTSD from his tours overseas.
Ikaika Kang was deployed to Iraq in 2010, and served in Afghanistan in 2014, according to his military service record.
He also was a recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He worked as an air traffic control operator with the Army.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court alleges that Kang swore allegiance to ISIS, and attempted to provide military documents and training to the terrorist organization.