Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support, including training, to Islamic State militants, the Justice Department announced this week.
Ikaika Erik Kang, a 35-year-old Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army stationed in Hawaii at the time of his arrest last year, "became sympathetic" to Islamic State in early 2016 and began watching violent propaganda videos and making pro-Islamic State statements, according to prosecutors. This behavior was noticed by his Army colleagues, who reported him to the FBI.
Kang apparently made some attempts to reach out to Islamic State militants. But instead, he got in touch with undercover FBI agents who posed as people with connections to Islamic State.
Over the course of several months, Kang kept in touch with the agents, including meeting in person, to discuss how he could be of benefit to Islamic State, including physical combat training.
According to the criminal complaint, Kang said Islamic State militants were "extremely effective" at martial arts but had no "jazz" in their technique, which he said he could fix.
In addition, Kang -- an accomplished marksman -- offered rifle training, bought a $1,151 drone so militants can get aerial views of battlefields and provided several classified military documents to the undercover agents to prove his eagerness to join the Islamic State.
"People still say it's illegal to join them, but the way I look at it is they're just fighting people who are committing genocide there," Kang said, according to the complaint. "I'm just going to go there...and fight these guys who are committing genocide."
As part of his plea deal, Kang agreed to serve 25 years in prison and at least 20 years on supervised release as part of a plea deal.
On Dec. 10, Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway, will decide Kang's official sentence.