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FBI: US Soldier Arrested for Trying to Help IS Has Long History of Threats

  • VOA News

FILE - Birney Bervar, center, addresses reporters outside the federal courthouse in Honolulu, July 10, 2017. Bervar was appointed the attorney for Ikaika Kang, a 34-year-old active duty soldier who has been accused of trying to aid the Islamic State.

The FBI says an active-duty U.S. Army sergeant arrested for allegedly trying to help Islamic State has a long history of making threats and pro-extremist statements.

Ikaika Kang has made his first court appearance in Honolulu and was ordered to remain behind bars.

Undercover FBI agents posing as Islamic State contacts arrested Kang on Saturday after he allegedly pledged his loyalty to IS, talked about wanting to "kill a bunch of people." He had also gone shopping with an undercover agent for a drone to give to IS fighters.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court, the Army reprimanded Kang as early as 2011 for threatening to kill fellow soldiers and praising Islamic militants.

Kang had lost his military security clearance in 2012 and later had it reinstated.

The FBI says the Army feared Kang was becoming radicalized and turned his case over to federal investigators in 2016.

Since then, Kang allegedly said the Pulse shooter who killed 49 at a gay nightclub in Orlando "did what he had to do." Kang has also been heard lauding Hitler and calling for the mass murder of Jews.

The FBI says Kang turned over classified military documents to an undercover agent posing as an Islamic State member.

Kang was an air traffic controller at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii. He had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kang's court-appointed lawyer, Birney Bervar, said his client may be suffering from combat-related mental health issues.

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