Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang, who faces 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to aid ISIS, planned a shooting in downtown and Waikiki in July 2017, U.S. Attorney Kenji Price said today.
Kang, 35, possessed an AR-15 assault-style rifle and a pistol in his home on Oahu, which was located off base from his Wheeler Army Airfield post.
After pledging allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and kissing the ISIS flag in a ceremony at Kang’s home on July 8, 2017, Kang “expressed a desire to commit a shooting downtown and in Waikiki later that same day,” Price said. “The same day Kang was arrested by federal agents.”
Price declined to offer details on Kang’s plans to shoot up downtown and Waikiki.
After pleading guilty today in federal court, Kang’s sentence is scheduled to be reviewed on Dec. 10 by Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.
“In federal court, a 25-year sentence is a 25-year sentence,” said Kang’s court-appointed attorney, Birney B. Bervar.
If he had not pleaded guilty, Kang faced the possibility of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“He’s accepting responsibility,” Bervar told reporters outside U.S. District Court. “He may have more to say at sentencing.”
Kang stood before Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield this morning in a white, short-sleeved jumpsuit that revealed heavy tattoos on both his arms. His feet were shackled, along with his hands which were chained around his waist.
Mansfield rejected a request by Bervar that Kang’s hands be released for the court session. Instead, Kang had to hold up his right hand to his waist as he was sworn in for the proceeding. During the court procedure, Kang answered that he understood the accusations against him and the ramifications of pleading guilty.
Kang admitted in court that he provided classified information and a drone and starred in a supposed ISIS combat training video when he met with FBI agents posing as ISIS representatives, an ISIS combat trainer and a sheik from July 6-8, 2017.
The meetings occurred at Kang’s home in an off-base residential neighborhood.
After the hearing, he was taken back into custody. If Mollway accepts the terms of Kang’s plea agreement, it will be up to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to determine where he serves his sentence.