Soldier who tried to help terrorists gets 25-year sentence

  • FILE - In this July 10, 2017, file photo, Clifford Kang, father of soldier Ikaika E. Kang, poses with photos of his son in Kailua, Hawaii. Ikaika E. Kang, an active-duty U.S. soldier, arrested on terrorism charges that accuse him of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group, is scheduled to be sentenced, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP, File)
  • FILE - In this undated file image taken from FBI video and provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Hawaii on Thursday, July 13, 2017, Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang holds an Islamic State group flag after allegedly pledging allegiance to the group at a house in Honolulu. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, Kang is scheduled to be sentenced for trying to help the Islamic State group. (FBI/U.S Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii via AP, File)

HONOLULU — A soldier based in Hawaii was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for trying to help the Islamic State group.

Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang pleaded guilty in August to four counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He said he provided classified military documents, a drone and other help.

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“Your honor, I know what I did was wrong,” he said before Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway imposed a sentence that includes 20 years of supervised release. “When I’m released I won’t do it again.”

He provided the support to undercover agents Kang believed were part of the Islamic State group.

By at least early 2016, Kang became sympathetic to the group, Mollway said. The FBI began an investigation in August 2016.

Kang provided voluminous, digital documents that had sensitive information including the U.S. military’s weapons file, details about a sensitive mobile airspace management system, various military manuals and documents containing personal information about U.S. service members, prosecutors said.

Trained as an air traffic controller with a secret security clearance, Kang also provided documents including call signs, mission procedures and radio frequencies, prosecutors said.

At one of the meetings with agents Kang believed were part of the Islamic State, he swore loyalty to the group in Arabic and English and kissed an Islamic State flag given to him by a purported Islamic State sheikh, prosecutors said.

He then said he wanted to get his rifle and fight — “just go to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki strip and start shooting,” prosecutors said in a news release in August.

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After that, FBI agents arrested him.

In exchange for Kang’s guilty plea, prosecutors said they won’t charge him with additional crimes, including violations of the espionage act, other terrorism-related laws and federal firearms statutes.