ISIS has been actively attempting to infiltrate the U.S. and other countries since their creation in 2013. U.S. intelligence agencies have been on the lookout for ISIS sympathizers and radicalized Americans for some time now.
However, when they have infiltrated our very military forces, our troops, we should be horrified. This past weekend, a U.S. Army soldier and ISIS sympathizer was arrested for trying to provide military documents as well as a drone to the Islamic State. (via Fox News)
Hawaii-based soldier Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, 34, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team in Honolulu. It appeared that the soldier attempted to give classified military documents and a drone to undercover agents and informants whom he believed would pass the information on to ISIS.
Kang was more than just an idle ideological sympathizer to their terrorist cause, as FBI special agent Jimmy Chen alleged that the soldier had sworn an oath of loyalty – also known as a bayat – to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. After doing so, Kang said he wanted to use his rifle and go “kill a bunch of people.”
Thankfully, no military documents ever made it into terrorist hands, and the information he was trying to transfer was “old and no longer posed any harm to the United States,” said Paul Delacourt, FBI special agent in charge of the investigation.
Kang was already under speculation by the U.S. Army and FBI for over a year, where they were concerned that Kang was becoming radicalized. He had a history of making threatening statements, including “threatening to hurt or kill other service members,” as well as “arguing pro-ISIS views while at work and on-post.” At one point his security clearance was suspended and he was heavily reprimanded for his comments.
He made other comments as well, including telling an informant he wanted to pour Drano into the eyes of a civilian who took away his air traffic controller’s license and that he sympathized with Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 50 people at an Orlando nightclub last year. He also supported “the mass killing of Jews.”
Thankfully, it seems that this particular infiltrator did not seem to realize that openly arguing for pro-ISIS positions and threatening to kill your comrades tends to make you quite conspicuous.
Kang’s father and Vietnam veteran, Clifford Kang, was shocked to hear about his charges, and felt his son may have been suffering from PTSD after serving overseas. His father did admit that his son began studying the Islamic faith approximately two years ago during his deployment but said he “never heard of his being with ISIS.” (via USA Today)
Kang’s laptop contained almost 140 videos and 700 graphic images referencing the Islamic State, violence, and jihad.
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Even though this particular infiltrator didn’t cause much damage, laregly due to his lack of discretion, it’s still concerning to learn that it’s possible for U.S. troops to be radicalized and indoctrinated by ISIS. As we continue to study the process of radicalization, we should be ever vigilant, as the next infiltrator may not be so forthcoming about his sympathies.
This, of course, should not shake our faith in the vast majority of U.S. soldiers who are fighting the good fight against ISIS and other terrorist cells around the world.