An astonishing report published this week suggests that the Islamic State group has infiltrated the United States Army by brainwashing at least one sergeant with its sick ideology.
Sgt. First Class Ikaika Erik Kang was arrested earlier this month and charged with attempting to supply undercover FBI agents posing as jihadists with “material support or resources,” according to The New York Times.
Stationed in Hawaii, the 34-year-old reportedly met with undercover federal agents on several occasions and volunteered to hand them over both classified intelligence and even military equipment, including drone cameras and chest rigs.
Federal agents finally took him into custody this month after he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and expressed his desire to “kill a bunch of people,” according to authorities who spoke with The Associated Press.
The Army had been aware of Kang’s radicalism since at least 2011, when he reportedly issued statements in support of the terror group and threatened to hurt his fellow soldiers, but waited until last year to report him to the FBI — a fact retired Army judge and prosecutor Col. Gregory A. Gross finds immensely disturbing.
Speaking with the AP, Gross highlighted the striking similarities between Kang and former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who eight years ago killed 13 people during a mass shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, and whose glaring warning signs were repeatedly ignored by the Army for years. Gross was the initial judge on the Hasan case, according to the AP.
At least the Army informed the FBI of Kang, though the agency itself waited months to apprehend him. However, there may have been a legitimate reason for this.
“They probably said, ‘Let’s monitor it and see if we can get a real terrorist cell,’” Marine Corps veteran and court martial defense attorney Noel Tippon told told the AP.
Note that Kang joined the Army in 2001 and served in South Korea between 2002 and 2003 and later in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2010 and 2014. It wasn’t until his later deployments that he reportedly began to display signs of extremism. It seems something happened during his time in Iraq and Afghanistan that warped his mind, turning him into an acolyte of the Islamic State group.
Thankfully, none of the “material support or resources” he tried offering ISIS ever reached the terror organization. Moreover, it appears he had been acting alone, though one wonders just how many more soldiers like Kang there might be in the Army.
His father has since reportedly claimed his son may just be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — which seems like quite a stretch — while his court-appointed attorney, Birney Bervar, has argued that the Army should have provided him with “medical or mental evaluation before launching an undercover criminal evaluation.”
Good luck arguing that in court …
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H/T Miami Herald