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US Soldier Arrested for Purchasing Drone for ISIS - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Washington – Nearly two months after the trial of an American soldier who had provided aid to ISIS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Honolulu announced the arrest of another for also helping the terrorist group.

Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was taken into custody over the weekend after the 34-year-old veteran of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan declared his loyalty to the terrorist group and exclaimed that he wanted to “kill a bunch of people,” according to authorities.

The detainee had also bought a drone in order to send it to ISIS extremists.

Kang was arrested in Hawaii where he was deployed at a military base, announced an FBI spokesman on Monday.

A 26-page affidavit from FBI agent Jimmy Chen filed in court Monday detailed how Kang thought he was dealing with people working for ISIS but who were actually undercover agents.

Kang and the agents together made combat training videos he believed would be taken to the Middle East to help prepare the group’s soldiers to fight American forces, according to the affidavit.

On Saturday, Kang and an undercover agent allegedly went shopping for a drone to give to ISIS extremists.

Kang said the drone would allow the fighters to view the battlefield from above “to find tank positions and avenues for escape” from US soldiers, the affidavit said. He used his debit card to pay nearly $1,400 for the drone, Go-Pro camera and related equipment. The agent paid him $700 to split the cost.

A trained air traffic controller based at Hawaii’s Wheeler Army Airfield, Kang had his military clearance revoked in 2012 for making pro-ISIS comments. His clearance was reinstated a year later after he completed military requirements.

However, the affidavit said, the army believed Kang was becoming radicalized in 2016 and asked the FBI to investigate.

The document also showed that Kan was sympathetic of Hitler and the American-Afghani, who shot and killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016.

Kang enlisted in the army in December 2001, just months after the Septemb11 11 attacks. He served in South Korea from 2002 to 2003. He deployed to Iraq from March 2010 to February 2011 and Afghanistan from July 2013 to April 2014.

He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a detention hearing.

In May, a New York federal court sentenced a US Air Forces veteran convicted of terrorism charges to 35 years in prison for attempting to join ISIS.

Tairod Pugh declared his innocence and condemned discrimination in the United States, saying: “My country has become scared and racist.”

“I am a black man. I am a soldier. I am a Muslim. I defended this nation and its constitution, but my service was met with abuse,” he said according to Reuters.

“My only regret is that it took me so long to realize that my country has grown scared and racist,” he added.

The judge had rejected his claims, saying that the case had nothing to do with race or religion.

“This isn’t about whether you’re a Muslim or a Christian or Jewish,” US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis told Pugh, who’s 49. “This is about whether you’re going to stand up for your country.”

Pugh’s lawyer later said that he will appeal the ruling.