Federal grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism charges
HONOLULU (AP) — A federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted a U.S. soldier Friday for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. Kang was ordered held without bail.
Kang will be arraigned in federal court on Monday when he had previously been scheduled for a preliminary hearing. Kang’s court-appointed attorney, Birney Bervar, told The Associated Press Friday that the indictment was expected.
“We haven’t had a preliminary in federal court here in probably 25 years,” Bervar said. “They don’t like to let us question their witnesses.”
Bervar said his client will plead not guilty on Monday when a federal judge will set a trial date.
Bervar said he is working on getting Kang a mental health evaluation and that his client may suffer from service-related mental health issues.
A “turning point” for Kang’s mental state seems to be a 2011 deployment, Bervar said. “He’s a decorated American soldier for 10 years, goes to Afghanistan and comes back and things start going off the rails.”
Elliot Enoki, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, and Dana Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced that the indictment in a statement.
Kang is charged with four counts of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8, they said.
Federal officials say Kang met with undercover FBI agents he thought were with the terror group and provided classified military documents to the agents.
The FBI said in their criminal complaint that Kang wanted to commit a mass shooting after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.