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US soldier jailed for 25 years after IS support

Kang has been sentenced to 25 years in jail [AP]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2018

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A US soldier who sought to join IS and carry out terror attacks has been jailed following an intelligence sting.
A US soldier has been sentenced to 25 years for attempting to provide support to the Islamic State group, media reported on Tuesday.

Ikaika Erik Kang, 35, whose sentence was part of a plea agreement, will also be under supervision for 20 years after he completes his prison term.

"Kang swore to defend the United States as a member of our military, but betrayed his country by swearing allegiance to [IS] and attempting to provide it material support," John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

Kang, a sergeant in the US Army, became sympathetic to [IS] by at least early 2016 and regularly watched propaganda videos published online by the group while and expressed wish to become a member, according to authorities.

Prosecutors alleged that he planned to launch attacks at public gatherings such as the Honolulu Christmas Parade and planning a suicide bombing at his army barracks.

In June and July 2017, he met with undercover FBI agents posing as people with connections to IS and provided them with sensitive material.

He also supplied the agents with a small aerial drone and military-style clothing and gear.

Kang is also accused of providing two undercover FBI employees - one pretending to be a high-ranking IS leader and another a fighter - with brief combat training.

Kang was arrested after he swore allegiance to IS during a ceremony conducted by the purported leader of the group.

"This is the first case in the state of Hawaii where someone was convicted for providing material support to terrorism," said Sean Kaul, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Honolulu. "This should serve as reminder that even though we are 2,500 miles from the US mainland these crimes can and do happen everywhere."

According to local media, Kang grew up in an abusive household and his father suffered from mental health issues. Two former members of the US military also testified that he had mental health issues and could easily be influenced.

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