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US soldier arrested on terrorism charges

A US soldier in Hawaii was arrested after the FBI says he pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State group and helped purchase a drone for use against American forces. Army sergeant first class Ikaika Kang appeared in federal court on Monday.

Kang's father says he worried his son had PTSD after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An attorney representing Kang referenced possible untreated mental health issues when reached for a comment.

"It would appear that Sgt. Kang, a decorated veteran of two deployments to the Middle East, may have some service-related mental health issues which the government was aware of, but neglected to treat," said the attorney, Birney Bervar, in an email.

FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Paul D. Delacourt announced the arrest of Kang, age 34, an active duty soldier assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8, 2017, for providing material support to the Islamic State (ISIS).

“Terrorism is the FBI’s number-one priority. In fighting this threat, the Honolulu Division of the FBI works with its law enforcement partners and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In this case, the FBI worked closely with the U.S. Army to protect the citizens of Hawaii.

“Kang has been under investigation by the U.S. Army and the FBI for over a year. 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,” Delacourt said.

Currently, the FBI believes that Kang was a lone actor and that he has not associated with others who present a threat to Hawaii.

A criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii alleges that Kang swore allegiance to ISIS, attempted to provide military documents to ISIS, and attempted to provide training to the terrorist organization. A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.

Kang is currently in federal custody.

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